Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Losing your way in blogging

Hey my lovelies, so it's been a good while since I have posted here, I have been active on my social medias but here has been a different matter.

I could say it's because of being ill that I haven't been posting and yes it's a plausible explanation of you're following me on socials you will understand why, but if I am being fully honest, I let blogging and everything that comes with it get the better of me.

The pressure for that perfect feed, to buy the latest trends, to be at the best events and to look on point all day every day, it just got to me, sitting here in my pyjamas, having a flare up with the back injury, hair hasn't been washed in 4 days and you know what, maybe a few months ago I wouldn't have even told you that, but let's get real who can be on point the whole time I know I can't.

The events became a matter of who's who and how many you could go to in a week, and that's all great, but having chronic illness it's just not feasible.

On a little night away with my blogging besties Gillian and Bex we always talk about blogging and our loves and dislikes and the pressure aspect always comes up. At the end of the day blogging to me is a hobby, and it's never going to be about money or a business, if it all ended tomorrow I would have these amazing friendships and that to me is a winner.

I have missed writing for the love of it, so definitely from here on in, it's going to be writing about everything that I love. For me this site nearly has a feel of an online magazine where you can go for lots of subjects, or at least that's where I really want it to go.

Passions and Preening was born out of a love for writing and it's definitely time to get back to that with, beauty, fashion, health, lifestyle and lots in between. Just think of it as your go to site for laughs and everything girly.

For now my lovelies I am taking this creaky back into bed for a look at some Christmas decorations!!

Always stay true to yourself and never let yourself be sucked into what you feel you have to be doing, you can stand apart from the crowd and that's truly okay.

Till next time
Stay safe and smiling
Ali xx

Sunday, 26 August 2018

The Beauty Lust List

Hey my lovelies, hope you're all feeling fab today! I can't believe we are nearly into September, before we know it Christmas will be just around the corner!!

Today I decided to do a lust list, just a wee list of items that is on my list to purchase and treat myself to. Let me know if you guys have tried any.

Clarins Pore Control Serum
This serum sounds like it was made for me. I have used a few of the Clarins serums, my favourite being the bi phase one, it's perfect for day time as it's so light a d makeup sits fab under it! The pore control ingredients really intrigue me,incorporating vine flower extracts which works on the structure of the pores to allow them to appear reconstructed and tighter. This serum comes in at £40 in most places and Debenhams have it at £40.50 at present,  and without a doubt it's one I plan on adding in when I finish my stem cell treatment from Image.

Joico K Pak Treatment
This is a deep reconstructive product for the hair, and if my girl Sabrina loves it, well we know it's going to be good. Now for the science bit.. the quadramine complex aims to reconstruct and help with the strength and texture of the hair to leave it soft, supple and shiny. Look Fantastic normally has this on great offers and it's currently at £13.81

Benefit Brow Contour Pro
We all know Benefit is famed for their fab brow products, I couldn't tell you how many tubes of gimme brow I have went through, it's just the lazy girls brow best friend, trust me, pop in and get the girls to try it on you, you won't regret it. Well the brains behind the brows have came out with a new brow product, the brow contour pro, which a 4 product pen, which is totally like the old school multi coloured pens! It has a lighter and a deeper shade for the brow, it has an edge definer to get that perfect sharp bro and to finish the brows, it has a gorgeous arch definer to make the highest points pop. This comes in at £28.50 on the Benefit site and for a total one stop brow product it's definitely on my list to try!

Too faced Fruit Cocktail
This blush duo has to be one of the cutest products out there. Too Faced is famed for their cute, gorgeous smelling products and this blush palette is just as fab as the rest. The shade strobeBerry is stunning and I can't wait to get it on my face! Coming in at £25 for the duo here,I definitely think it's a great price and worth trying.

Clarins Joli Rouge Graduation Lipstick
We all know my love for the Joli Rouge range, but when I was looking for a new colour for Autumn and spied these, the red has went straight into my lust list. Clarins have made 3 duo lipsticks for this collection and I think this could be the perfect red for all those Christmas parties, with the duo aspect it will give your lips an element of an ombre effect. These come in at £22 on their site and for the duo aspect and limited edition packaging design, I would say this will be on many Santa lists this year.

 Jo Malone Scent Diffuser
As most of you know, hubby and I have just moved house, and I am totally going for a different aesthetic in this place, think grey, white, pops of blush pink and it's going to be your perfect Insta home!!  I have this one little space on these gorgeous shelves and I think a new Jo Malone Scent Diffuser in my favourite Lime, Basil and Mandarin would just look perfect,but at £62 on their page I am going to have to talk nicely to Santa!

Angel Solid Perfuming Pen
You all know by now, Mugler Flora Fortuna is my favourite scent for Summer and Angel comes a close 2nd. I was looking to buy a new bottle of Fortuna the other night but came across these solid perfume pens and must admit I am super intrigued by them. I always worry about my bottles getting smashed in my bag, so this could be the perfect answer. The pen comes in at £26 on their page and it could be a great gift for someone!

Too Faced Born this way Sculpting Concealer
This is the new, highly coveted concealer from Too Faced, based around the Born this way Foundation, and we all know I love it for full coverage days. The concealer can be used for cream contouring, but personally for me, I would definitely be trying it for days where I just need a little coverage maybe round nose etc. At £21.60 on Debenhams site it is pretty pricey for a concealer but the rave reviews it's getting, it's definitely on the lust list.

Diorskin luminizer
Not going to lie, when I spied this on Debenhams site, I did do a little squeak. I have fallen in love with 002 which is a pearly pink shade, which i feel would work best with my skin tone but at £34 from Boots it is a bit pricey for everyday, but I could put it on the list for special occasions couldn't I? 

I have to admit some of these products are on the spendy side for what they are, but I really believe we should treat ourselves sometimes and without a doubt these are perfect for that little treat!!
Have a fab week my loves, and we will catch up soon.

Keep smiling and inspiring
Ali x

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Image Signature Peels with Therapie Belfast

Afternoon my lovelies, I hope you're all enjoying this amazing weather, and remembering your SPF!! Which leads me nicely onto today's post.

As we get older we start to see the lines creep in, some pigmentation and lots of other little things appear on the skin that maybe we aren't just 100% happy with.
Skincare without a doubt has come a long way from when I was a teenager, and we have so much information and expertise at our disposal, to allow us to get the best skincare and treatments possible.

When Therapie clinic got in contact to see if I would like to collaborate with them, I was super interested. Therapie have an amazing reputation in Ireland for being a leading clinic in all things skin, laser and lots of other great treatments.

My skin has always been very combination, with a very oily tzone alongside rosaeca, not to mention the dehydration, so you can see Therapie had a hard job to take on.

I went up for my consultation, and I talked through my concerns and what I would like to work on. These consultations are vital in my opinion, not only do they allow you to see what your skin does need but in my opinion more importantly what your skin does not need. I think in today's society, we are bogged down with flashy ingredients and advertisements and in the quest for perfect skin sometimes we throw every ingredient on, and they could be working against each other, not only doing our skin no good,but let's be honest the bank balance won't enjoy it either, so that's why I think professional advice is key!

We talked about what the clinic offered including peels,laser, and microneedling and decided that I would give the Image Signature Peels a go and I was booked in for the next month.

I arrived to get my 1st peel with Niamh and she put me totally at ease. She talked me through the Image brand and having used the brand before I knew I was in safe hands.

The Signature peel aims to work on an overall tone, looking at reducing fine lines and plumbing skin. It works on a cellular level with the active ingredients to increase cell turnover to maximise skin health.

Niamh started with a double cleanse to prep the skin for the solutions. The facial itself is 4 layers and is a mix of vitamin C and fruit enzymes layered with masks of glycolic acid and enzymes to eat away at the dead skin and leaving you feeling amazing.

The Vit C is known to really brighten and even the skin tone and that mixed with the AHAs in the fruit enzymes will magically exfoliate the face without the need for a harsh scrub. This is one of the main things that stood out for me in this facial, as with a traditional scrub the skin can be worked too harsh and for someone with rosacea this is the last thing I wanted.

The mask layering will tingle and Niamh was able to gauge how long to keep the acids etc on for from how much it tingled me, which again is fantastic as it's all tailored and not a one size fits all approach.

The skin is fully cleansed again and a soothing serum applied from the Iluma lightening range and this is on my list to buy as it's stunning!

All in all the facial took 30 minutes and Niamh was a fab therapist. We talked about the after care and home regime. We went through what I was currently using and decided to add in a couple of the Image products.

Over the next few months I had another 2 peels and at the end we revisited my initial consultation to see where we were with results.

My skin definitely felt smoother and more plump but I did feel my pores where still prominent and there was still quite a lot of congestion.
We then discussed the Image lightening peels and microneedling and Niamh felt it would be beneficial to me to do a few of these sessions mixed in with each other month about to get the maximum results.

My makeup definitely sat better and for me that definitely was a huge bonus!

I have had 1 peel and 1 session of microneedling but I am going to give you am update on these after my next session which is on Friday.

I really feel as an introductory peel and as an overall introduction to deeper skincare the signature peel is fantastic! If you feel your skin needs a refresh in the run up to a big event then these could be the one for you.

Therapie also have more invasive treatments like the microneedling, injectables which I am not gonna lie I am seriously considering, anyone who knows me knows I absolutely hate the line between my brows and laser hair removal.

Everything is tailored and they have fantastic sales on throughout the year. Facials will be on a 3 for 2 offer and you can get areas of laser for 1p if you buy another area!! I could see me booking in for laser top to toe at those prices!!

Therapie also sell homecare from Image along with Murad and and other tailored specific brands.
I have been using some of the Image range and I have fallen in love with the Ageless Total Resurface Mask. This can be used twice a week and it just keeps the dead skin at bay, my face feels amazing after it and no doubt in it, this has become my holy grail along with the Image lip balm!! Both can be bought in store.

If you want to get a free consultation, the company have many clinics in Ireland and NI and you can find the team Here

Also you can contact them on 08000121565

I can't wait to share with you my journey with the micro needling.
I share lots about my skin routine and the treatments so pop over to my Instagram Here to keep up to date.

Learning to love the skin you're in is invaluable and good skincare and treatments can make this possible.

Till next time lovelies, be safe, keep smiling and putting that SPF on!!
Ali xxx

*Treatments have been given free of charge but as always opinions are my own and in no way influenced**

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Where have I been??

Well my lovelies,it's been a while!

Life has been interesting the past couple of months and I can totally tell you missed me! So before I get back into all things blog, I wanted to give you a little update.

The biggest thing to smack the Passions house was we moved home. Our last place had a lot of damp, with mould and led to Scott being pretty ill. Enough was enough and we had to move, finding a place suitable was tough but a couple of weeks ago, we moved into a flat with the much needed disabled access shower so it's the start of a new journey. It's a totally different layout to our old place, it's open plan living and kitchen so it's very different to get used to. So the past few weeks have been taken up with that. It will take a while to get all finished but I will keep you all updated.

Next, unfortunately isn't that nice a thing. As most of you know I have epilepsy and there are times when this is pretty easy to manage and isn't very active and others it's pretty active, unfortunately the past couple of weeks it's been active and it's knocked me, but I am heading in for another eeg this week to see if there are any brain changes.

With the house move and a few social things my M.E has definitely been hit, it's getting that balance between doing too much and not doing enough. It's definitely a hard thing to manage but I just have to learn to rest when it's needed and not push myself as much. You'll all understand that feeling of wanting to do something but knowing if you do you will be set back a few days, but I have never let it win and it won't start now.

The last thing is the one that's made the biggest effect on the blog and I would say it's one a lot of you can identify with.
Comparison, is such a negative, hateful word. It's soo easy to look at someone, someone's Instagram, etc and you instantly compare yourself as a blogger but also as a person.  I sit and look on Instagram at home accounts, plus size fashion and even looking for advice on how to nail that perfect Instagram theme, and I could be 3 hours scrolling and walk away feeling deflated and pretty worthless and let's be honest gang, those perfect Insta pictures aren't real life, you see one angle of one room I would love to see the rest of the room lol.
Mental health is so important and I really do think Instagram can be a dark place if you're searching for that perfect aesthetic, I definitely felt it recently looking at those perfect grey and white homes and wishing I could have it, but I have a great bunch of real talking, no rubbish talking blogging besties who keep it real with me!!

Overall it's been a couple of months of fab highs and rubbish lows but I feel for sure that I am ready to get back to creating some content, so sit tight preeners and get ready for some beauty bits, my skincare journey and some more fun!!!

Till next time lovelies 
Ali xxx

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Pizza Punks come to Belfast

Hey lovelies, hope you are all doing fabulous, and ready for a great weekend.  Well, if you need an idea of somewhere to eat in Belfast this weekend look no further, I may have just the place for you.

Pizza Punks located in Waring Street right in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter in Belfast recently launched and after seeing the launch night on social media, Scott and I knew it was a place we had to visit. After launching in Glasgow a couple of years ago and going from strength to strength Pizza Punks without a doubt is leading the way with contemporary fusion ideas when it comes to pizza.

We wanted to give it a try on a weekday when it wasn't too busy, so we were up at an appointment in the city this week and decided to pop in. Seriously guys, the vibe when you walk in is just cool, neon and funky. We were seated really quickly and started having a nosy at the menu. We had already stalked the place on instagram and decided we wanted to punk our own pizza, which basically means you can choose any of the toppings, bases etc and your pizza will be £10.  
Scott decided on the sourdough base, with the red sauce, along with, pepperoni, black pudding, red onion and mac and cheese along with mozzarella and parmesan. This is totally Scott in a pizza form!! I decided to go for the sour dough base, bbq sauce.  meatballs, buffalo chicken, caramelised red onion and the irn bru pulled pork. I also had the mozzarella and Parmesan.

The pizza toppings are so out there its fab, but don't worry if you want something plain they have you covered too. Toppings include haggis, beans, lamb donner, meatballs, potato bread just to name a few.

We didn't realise the pizzas would be as big, but when we looked at the menu again they are approx 12 inches so definitely a great size portion,  The pizzas were really tasty. I would say there wasn't much taste from the pulled pork but that would be my only negative in the whole meal, so we were really pleased.

I decided to leave room for a freakshake, so I decided to take half of the pizza home with us and we ordered a strawberry cheesecake freakshake.  The shake came with adorable haribo round the middle and an adorable little piece of cheesecake wedged into the glass with some squirty cream. Now it did say there was strawberry ice cream in it, there was no actual ice cream in the glass but we assumed it was mixed into the shake to make it more creamy. The shake itself was lovely. Personally I would have preferred it to be a good bit more chilled, but again this is only personal preference.

Overall, the food and service was fantastic, and at just under £33 for the full meal which included a lemonade and a beer, we were really pleased with the prices. I really do think its just what Belfast needs and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend it and we will certainly be back!

If you want to get in touch with the team at Pizza Punks head to their facebook page here or you can give them a call on 028 9031 4110

Let me know if you have tried it or if its something you would be into
Till next time lovelies
© passionsandpreening

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