SHOP SMART WITH COLOUR ELEMENTS | STYLE

Colour Elements App

I was recently invited along to Castle Galleries in Princes Square to find out all about Colour Elements and how their app can help you find the colours that work best for you and reduce clothing waste.


Simply send the team a selfie through their social media or email it to them, and you’ll receive a free, personalised colour ID with the ideal element for you – Earth, Fire, Air or Water. You can then use the app to browse colours from your element and create colour cards with complimentary combinations in order to inspire your outfit choices.

Colour Elements App Earth

At the event, Colour Elements director Karen Finn talked about how so often we wear just 20% of our wardrobes and the rest goes unworn as it’s full of impulse buys and things that don’t suit our style. I can certainly relate to buying things that are a bit different then sticking to my usual uniform of black Joni jeans and black or grey t-shirts! Colour Elements aims to help you understand what works best for you so you can shop smarter and really make the most of your wardrobe to reduce your own spending as well as the huge waste created by unworn clothes.

According to WRAP, the Waste and Resources Action Programme, an estimated £100 million worth of used clothing goes to landfill in the UK every year, and around 30% of the clothes in British homes have not been worn in at least a year. The impact on our finances and the planet is staggering, so finding ways to reduce our waste should be a priority.

Colour Elements Blogger Event Glasgow
Photo from the Colour Elements Facebook, with @kerrylyle_ and @meganflockhart

But it's not all so serious - Colour Elements is designed to make you feel more confident about incorporating colour into your life and help you find clothes that make you feel amazing. They are keen to point out, though, that they're not being strict with you and saying these are the only colours you should ever wear - at the end of the day everyone should wear whatever we want! Your ID is simply intended as a guide to help you, not a rule book.

The main element for me is Fire, which I'm not surprised about because of my hair! But Earth colours are also good for me due to my dark features and can help ground the Fire colours. This means all types of reds, deep greens and golds work well for me. Once you know your color ID, you can receive weekly emails with outfit ideas curated for your element, which you can then shop directly.

At the moment the app is only available on Apple devices which is a shame because I'm all Android, but I convinced Adam to download it on his iPad so I could have a play around with it. Hopefully it will be on Android in the future, but for now you can always use the website and sign up for the newsletter, as well as keeping an eye on their social media for more fashion inspiration.

The Body Shop Eyeshadow Palette

The Body Shop were also at the event to tell us a bit about their new masks and eyeshadow palettes. All the Body Shop girls were so friendly and knowledgeable about their products, and the eyeshadows I tried out were gorgeous! They were so kind to give us an amazing goodie bag which contained some of my favourite products as well as some new things that I can't wait to try!

Sugar Dumplin' provided amazing rum cocktails and thanks to The Trading House I now like rum when it's mixed with fruity things so I really enjoyed them! Zizzi's provided loads of food and I was over the moon to see dairy-free pizzas as well as gluten-free - it was so lovely of them to think about that! Snuggle Muffin served up delicious cupcakes and gave us cookies in the goodie bags and since I have a mild cookie addiction I was over the moon!

Everyone worked so hard to provide an amazing night for us all and it was lovely to meet some new bloggers and bond over our Instagram struggles! Be sure to tweet your selfie to Colour Elements or tag them on Instagram to find out your element!

How do you incorporate colour into your life?

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AUGUST RECAP

Shannon Darko

August was a pretty good month - I had loads of fun events to attend and occasions to celebrate. The downside though was the amount of time spent applying for jobs and the fact that I still don't have one. I'm writing freelance for a few places but would love to secure a full-time job, so hopefully in my next Monthly Recap that'll be the highlight! Anyway, here's all the awesome stuff that happened this month:

Thaikhun Silverburn Buddha

At the start of the month Adam and I tried out Thaikhun's new menu and saw Suicide Squad the same night. Check my Thaikhun post for a detailed review but spoiler alert: it was fab! Suicide Squad surprised me because I had been looking forward to it for ages, then the reviews were so bad and really put me off it, but it actually wasn't as bad as it was made out to be. It's not a cinematic masterpiece and I was a bit disappointed with the portrayal of Harley Quinn, but it was entertaining and definitely worth a watch.

8th Birthday Niece

My niece Orla turned 8 this month and I had a great day seeing her and the rest of my family for a catch-up and cake. I bought her a sparkly cat jumper which to be honest I was very jealous of! She loved it too, as well as the cute necklace I got for her and she seemed to have a great day so smiles all round!


Adam and I celebrated our anniversary this month, so after prosecco and strawberries at home we went for dinner and a comedy show at Wild Cabaret. We drink there quite often but this was the first show we went to and we really enjoyed it, even if the staff were a bit rude! The curry and comedy deal is great value at £10 each and the food was great so if you're looking for something to do on a Wednesday night I'd recommend it.

Colour Elements Event Glasgow Princes Square

Last week I went to the Colour Elements event in Princes Square where I learned all about their colour matching service and their app which tells you the colours that work best for you. I'll have a full post on this soon so look out for it! I met some fab girls there and had a lovely night drinking cocktails and eating amazing food provided by Zizzi!

Pug puppy

My sister Kelly got a pug called Hugo and I totally fell in love with him when I went to visit for the first time. Look at that face!! I'm dogsitting him and also looking after my two nieces next week and I'm very excited about it. He's such a snuggly little pup and spent so much time asleep on my lap, so adorable!

Glasgow Summer Sessions 2016 Biffy Clyro Fall Out Boy

Last weekend was the highlight of the month when I saw Biffy Clyro and Fall Out Boy (and more!) at Glasgow Summer Sessions in Bellahouston Park. It was a huge outdoor gig with a brilliant atmosphere and thankfully the weather was actually pretty good! Fall Out Boy have been my favourite band for over a decade (read my previous Fall Out Boy review) and they played Hum Hallelujah, my absolute favourite song of theirs, so I was very happy! Biffy put on an amazing show for two hours and the setlist was fantastic. They're definitely one of the best live bands I've seen and I can't wait to see them again in November!

What I listened to in August: Moose Blood - Blush, Biffy Clyro - Ellipsis, Honeyblood - Ready For The Magic
What I watched in August: Stranger Things (Loved it, obviously!), Bates Motel Season 2, Pretty Little Liars Season 7

What did you get up to this month?

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THAIKHUN SILVERBURN | NEW MENU REVIEW*

Thaikhun Thai Restaurant Silverburn

Last year, I was invited along to the launch night of Thaikhun in Silverburn shopping centre and had a great night sampling some of the dishes, so when they got in touch to ask if I'd like to try out their new menu I jumped at the chance.

Thaikhun Menu Curry Stir Fry

Adam and I headed there on Saturday, and after some shopping went for our dinner then to see Suicide Squad, so we had a great day. Especially when the weather's miserable (what summer?) it's good to have an indoor place like Silverburn to spend the day.

Street Sipper Cocktail Thaikhun

We got started with some drinks - we had a cocktail each and mine was so delicious. It was the Street Sipper, made with gin, passion fruit and orange - and served in a plastic bag! It was sweet and refreshing, and I could have drank many more! Adam had the Thai Takeaway which combined vodka, rum, pineapple, lime and coconut. Not my thing at all but he enjoyed it.

Thaikhun Moo Ping Pork Skewers Starter

To start, I went for the Moo Ping pork skewers and Adam had Moo Dad Deow - deep fried pork strips. Both dishes were lovely, but we both agreed the Moo Ping was the nicer of the two as the sticky marinade was so good! It also came with a chilli dip, the slight sweetness of which complimented the marinade perfectly.

Thaikhun Khao Moo Daeng Moo Grob

My main was a dish famous in Bangkok called Khao Moo Daeng Moo Grob. It was slices of pork on a bed of rice topped with a sweet barbeque sauce. It was very nice but I would have liked some more sauce as it was so tasty but there just wasn't enough of it! There was, however, a lot of meat (two different types of pork) and I just couldn't eat it all. Just one type of pork with more sauce would have been perfect.

Thaikhun Panang Thai Red Curry

Adam went for a classic Thai Red Curry called Panang. He said the sauce was very light and refreshing, and you can choose what meat you want with it which is a good option. He went for the duck and gave the meal two thumbs up! Again, the portion was quite big (there was a lot of meat in that bowl!), which is great, but as we were having three courses we did struggle to get through everything!

Thaikhun Thai Waffle Green Tea Ice Cream Dessert

Earlier in the day I had a craving for a sweet waffle but was unable to find any, so it seemed like fate when I saw it on the Thaikhun dessert menu! It was absolutely heavenly, drizzled with toffee sauce and topped with green tea ice cream, which I had never tried before but was surprised at how much I liked it. Adam went for chilli chocolate ice cream, which he enjoyed but the spice got a bit too much in the end, especially after a curry!

Singha Beer Thaikhun

There's a huge selection of restaurants in Silverburn and it can be overwhelming to decide where to go, but Thaikhun is well worth a visit, especially because you're guaranteed to get something a bit different there - whether it's a cocktail in a tin can topped with jalapenos, interesting flavour combinations you'd never have considered or even real creepy crawlies for the kids (!!) And please, do yourself a favour and get the waffle dessert - you will not regret it!


*Our meals were kindly provided by Thaikhun for consideration of review. All opinions are 100% my own as always. See my Disclaimer for more info. 

COULD DAIRY BE HARMING YOUR SKIN?

Does dairy cause acne?

If you've ever suffered from acne, you'll know the huge toll it can take on your confidence. You'll know that you end up spending tons of money on all kinds of skincare products, only for none of them to work.

I've been there. It's not something I've ever really talked about because I've always been embarrassed to, and didn't want to draw attention to my skin at all. But now that it's looking much better I feel more comfortable discussing it. Yes, I've tried countless different skincare brands and techniques, I've been prescribed a million different antibiotics which never made the slightest difference and I've spent hours researching skin online. I even went on Roaccutane which is a very harsh drug and the side effects were so unbearable that I had to stop taking it, even though my skin had started to improve a bit.

The only thing that has actually helped my skin in any meaningful way is cutting out dairy. I want to point out here that everyone's skin is different and it's also wise to speak to a professional before making any big changes to your diet. This is my story, it might not work for you but I hope it does. Also, there are no before photos in this post because even though my skin isn't bad now, the thought of posting photos from when it was is still terrifying!

The curious thing about this is that there's not a ton of scientific research to back up the claim that dairy can cause acne, but a quick Google search will show you loads of anecdotal accounts from people who swear it was the main contributor to their acne. I have spoken to many dermatologists and while they all stress that there is not enough evidence to firmly state that dairy can make acne worse, most agree that they often see a difference in patients who cut it out. The last dermatologist I saw said she never consumes dairy for that very reason.

My skin is now the best it's ever looked.


In 2013 the American Academy of Dermatology reported that studies were beginning to show that there was actually a possible link between dairy and acne, and the Harvard School of Public Health found a "clear link" between regular milk drinkers and acne sufferers. But what exactly is it about dairy that can be so bad for your skin? The main thing is the hormones in dairy, which can encourage over-production of sebum and lead to spots forming. Everyone has a different tolerance for this, which is why the dairy affects some people's skin more than others, and why some people see no negative effects at all.

I now know that dairy definitely has a huge impact on my skin and I can see the difference when I do eat it. When I was on holiday this year I allowed myself to eat it because come on, who can say no to numerous ice creams on a hot day by the pool? When I got home, my skin was terrible, even though it was pretty much fine before I went. I didn't regret having dairy on holiday but I was strict with myself when I got home and after just a week or so being back to dairy-free my skin had almost completely cleared up.

I'm not going to lie, it's been hard. Especially because I bloody love cheese. I still fall off the wagon sometimes and indulge in spaghetti carbonara or a nice lemon cheesecake, but that's okay. This isn't a diet and I'm not going to constantly deny myself things I love or beat myself up over eating some mac and cheese.

My skin isn't perfect and I don't know if it will ever be, but this change in my diet has helped give me back the confidence that I lost a long time ago. It's kind of frustrating, though, that I spent over ten years struggling with my skin, when really the solution was pretty simple all along. I wish one of the many doctors and dermatologists I have seen had at least mentioned dairy as a possible factor, because it could have saved me years of self-consciousnes. Like I said, everyone is different but if you're struggling with acne I would suggest that you consider cutting out dairy for a month or so to see if it helps at all.

Have you noticed a link between dairy and your skin?

2016 GOALS | UPDATE

At the start of the year, I talked about my Plans and Goals for 2016 so here's an update on how I'm getting on with the goals I set for myself in that post.

Books Lolita Just Kids Clothes Music Boys Vivienne Westwood

1. READ MORE

I've definitely achieved this one and I knew I would. Any uni student will know that studying leaves little time to read books of your own choice, especially in that final year. Since I finished uni in May I've constantly had a book on the go (currently reading Lolita) and have been reading my favourite magazines whenever I have any spare time. I'm absolutely loving having this extra time to read and I've discovered so many new authors recently.

2. BE MORE CONFIDENT IN MY SKILLS

I outlined three main ways that I could feel more confident in my writing: write more, read back my work and let others read it. I've taken steps for all three of these and have definitely been writing a lot more in the past few months. When I was at my internship at Kerrang! magazine I had a great opportunity to get feedback from several professional writers, which was so valuable. My lack of confidence showed here in that I was actually very surprised by how good the feedback was. I was told that my feature pitch was one of the best they'd seen from an intern and my album reviews were highly praised too. This gave me a huge confidence boost and I also took on board all the feedback I was given in order to improve.


3. IMPROVE MY PHOTOGRAPHY

This is an area I've made a bit of progress in, but not as much as I would have liked. Writing has been my main focus recently so I haven't been spending enough time on my photography to improve it a lot. I have been happier with my Instagram recently though, despite that stupid new algorithm! Next week, I'm going to spend one of my days off working on my photography and trying to take lovely photos for both this blog and my Instagram, so keep an eye out to see how that goes.

4. CHANGE MY OUTLOOK

This has been the hardest goal and the one with which my progress has been the least consistent. I go through phases of being very aware of my thought patterns and actively trying to make them more positive, then after a while I fall back into my old cynical habits. However, I have noticed that I'm generally more conscious about the way I think and often have a little word with myself when I'm getting upset or annoyed about something that's not actually that important. As cliche as it may be, I've been on the lookout for little postcards etc with nice quotes on them to put on the wall next to my desk. Paperchase do lovely ones for about 60p so I usually pick a few up each time I go in, and I now have a nice collection of reminders for myself.

I think I'm doing quite well with my goals so far, and this little check-up halfway through the year has spurred me on to start working harder on the things I've been neglecting. It's so important to assess your progress with things like this, and give yourself a pat on the back for your achievements. I'll do a final update at the end of the year, when hopefully I'll be happy with the changes I've made!

How are you getting on with your goals?