Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Top 25 Snappers to follow over Christmas

Hey loves, I hope you are all well and truly ready for Christmas and ready to celebrate. Today, I have my top 25 snapchatters that I think you should definitely be following over Christmas and into 2017. I did one of these away at the start of this year and a few have stayed the same but a good few have changed, these are the snappers that I always have to watch for loads of different reasons. So sit back, get a cuppa and discover some new snappers.

Add me alison2603 to keep up




These are in no particular order as it would be way to hard to put them in order!! All their usernames are in the brackets be sure and give them a follow.

Charlene Flanagan Makeup MUA  (charlenefmakeup)
This is a lady who I could watch for hours and I was lucky enough to watch live at the beauty show. The thing that draws me to Charlene is her realness and she is a true lady. She can rock soo many looks but she is just as comfortable lounging in her jammies with her new hubby and doggie in their stunning new home. If you want an MUA who really knows her stuff then this is it.

Lisa from Lisa's Life Style (lis8-85)
Lisa is a blogger and covers a variety of areas including lifestyle and beauty. I followed Lisa for a while before meeting her at a blogging event this year. You know the people you can just click with, well Lisa is one of those girls. She adores fashion and she regularly shows hauls on her snapchat that I lust over. Her snapchat is full of makeup, beauty, food and all fab bits.

Carla from Cosmetically Clueless (cosmeticallyclu)
Carla is a fab blogger who has the inside scoop on everything Pennys/Primark. She has all the details of the latest things to hit the stores and she's a fab one to watch. She does fab snaps on products that she loves and hates and I love the realness in her snaps, she's not afraid to say what she thinks and I love this about her.

Laura Cunningham (cunninghamlaura)
Aww Laura, what a fab girl. Total girl boss in my eyes. Owner of the amazing store Hippenings and yet finds time to be the head lady in Confetti magazine. Laura snaps her day to day life, and the crazy goings on of her cat Mark,  She shows that hard work, peserverance and just a little bit of craziness will take you far in life. 

Diane Everett MUA (dianeeverettmua)
If you don't follow Diane and are a makeup lover, scoot on over quick cause this girl is just outstanding. She's one of the MUA snappers I have been following for quite a while now, and she is really blossoming and become a real force to be reckoned with, I mean who else could pull off purple hair, and purple brows!! Her talent shines through but what is so sweet is her relationship with her wee boy, you can tell everything she does is to better herself for him and its truly heartwarming.

Sue Jordan from Cherry Sue Doin the Do (itscherrysue)
Sue is a blogger who has been on the scene for years, and is one of these ladies who just knows her stuff. Without a doubt one of the top bloggers in the country, she lets us into her life of events, puppy walks and family life. Her snaps are a great mix of everything and I think she's great to watch as she is real and loving and wants the best for everyone.



Karen (blissbakery)
My fab friend Karen! She really is one of lifes good ones. She has a blog called Yankee Doodle Paddy and her Snapchat is one of the most positive inspiring accounts I watch. She is so full of love and wants to spread love, it's truly beautiful to see. When I met her this year, it felt like I had knew her years. If you need a dose of positivity and love add her!

Kate Kelly from Pure Irish Sugar Blog (katekelly1)
Kate is one of those girls who is just a sweetheart. Her snaps are full of laughs, beauty, travel and now with her new job with Benefit, full of that gorgeous brand. I had the pleasure of meeting her at an event and I must admit after following her blog for a good while I was a little overwhelmed as she is always on top of her game. Without a doubt one of those girls who makes fashion fun!!

Laura  (laurasviews)
If you need a laugh head to Lauras snaps. She's a total breath of fresh air, and trust me she doesn't mince her words which is the main reason I adore her. She's not scared to say what we are all thinking and watching her torment Dean (Ian) makes me literally lol She is vegan and she is able to get her points across without being pushy and it really makes you sit up and think about things. She has that perfect mix of beauty and real life issues on her snaps and shes one to watch for sure.

Louise McDonnell MUA (officiallmd)
Louise is an MUA from up here in the north and she has amassed a huge snapchat following with her amazing makeup looks, great personality and all whilst tormenting her poor boyfriend. Her look is super glam and she knows how to rock an insta brow to perfection. She has a great knowledge of the products that she is using, and it's lovely to see someone local doing really well. 

Ellen from Waxperts (waxpertsellen)
Ellen is one half of the amazing Waxperts team who are leading the way for hairless beauties all over the country. You have all heard me rave about their wonderpads, seriously you need them in your life. Her snaps are a mix of everyday life with her hubby Conrad and amazing little boy Cooper. Cooper is just the most adorable little boy and I think I speak for us all when I say we live for every day to hear the Hi errrrbody he does. Ellen is super knowledgeable and she regularly holds waxing Wednesday where you can send in questions. One of those snappers I never miss, if you love shoes you will go nuts for her collection.

Ciara and Jen Matte to Metallic (mattetometallic)
These girls are literally a force to be reckoned with. Their snapchat is a great mix of makeup demos, events, product reviews and everything in between. They are brand ambassadors for Makeup Revolution, and you all know how much I adore this brand, so I watch their snaps religiously. I had the pleasure of meeting the girls at the beauty show last year, and they are soo down to earth. They have been in the indutry years and this really shows in their knowledge.

Sera from The Style Guide Blog (seraemily)
Sera is an amazing blogger, and her snapchat shines with all of this. She has a real sense of love for blogging and loves to chat about all things, beauty, lifestyle and her amazing kiddie. Her snapchat story is a real mix and this is what I love about it. She shows us the latest products and gives us lots of life updates and isn't scared to talk about real subjects which I love. 

Lindsay (mermaidajade)
Where do I start, she has to be one of the funniest girls I have ever came across. I could cry laughing at her snaps, but then on the next snap she will have me crying at the love and and admiration she shows her 2 kids. She does these little skits where she will be 2 people and I swear this girl needs a TV show. Her kids are little dynamites and I love how free she lets them be. She's just a real all round great girl.

Edele from Fabulous Faces by Edele (edele2011)
Edele is another MUA from NI and one of the sweetest girls. The main thing I adore about her work, is that she always does makeup to suit the face and believes every face is different and works with that. She has her own range of lashes and she constantly strives to better herself by travelling the world to train with the best in the business. She loves all things pink and glitter so definitely a girl after my own heart.

James Kavanagh (jamesksnaps)
If you aren't following James, you must be living under a rock. From starting out scaring William his boyfriend which still makes me jump never mind William, to now having his own amazing Artisan food business Currabinny with William. He is the King of Snapchat and needs his own show on TV. From his Princess Diana love to his serious and beautiful chats with his nephew about Autism, James is one you really need to follow.

Sarah from Beauty and the Masseuse (sarahdwan1)
Sarah is a snapper you will adore if you love information, she knows so much about the beauty industry and her snaps are so interesting. I have learnt soo much about skincare and the importance of different areas of skincare. She is one of the most supportive and sweetest girls you will come across  so she is definitely one to give a wee add to.



Mark from Benefit (mark_benefit)
Mark is without a doubt the face of Benefit in Ireland. I could watch him do his brows all day, seriously girls on fleek doesn't cut it!! He has been going through lots of old Benefit classics recently and what I really love about his snaps is you can see the passion for his job soo clearly. He is doing soo well for himself at the minute and he has let us into a side of his side recently that we don't see with a lot of others. He volunteers with an amazing group of kids, and watching the snaps with them and him just showed a beautiful side to him. He is just a beautiful soul in all honesty.

Katrina from K2Hair (katrinak2hair)
Katrina is the brains behind K2Hair and Push Makeup and is one heck of a lady. She has soo much drive and positivity it's truly infectious. She give us snippets of positivity and it really does work. I attended one of their workshops this year and she is totally the same on snap as she is in real life, just a bundle of fun who is pushing to be the best she can be.


Kim from SoSoDempo (kimdempo)
Kim is a blogger that I have been friends with for quite a while now, and was friends with when she took her leap into blogging and watching her grow has been amazing. She is so real and honest and again one of those girls when I met her this year it felt like I knew her years. I could watch her do her makeup all day, she has this great way of explaining things. Her snaps are a great mix of fashion, beauty and lifestyle.

Julie Smith Makeup (julz_smith13)
Julie is another local MUA and wow has this girl got some serious skills. She has to be hands down one of the funniest girls I watch. I adore how she doesn't take herself seriously, and she lets us into her life with her fab hubby! I love the banter between them! Julie is such a genuine girl on her snaps, and she has a great following of girls and guys that love her realness and skills. Her product knowledge is amazing, and she is up to date on the latest looks and products, so one to follow for all things beauty and craic. 

Jennifer Rock aka The Skin Nerd (theskinnerd)
Jennifer is the God of all things skin. This is one lady who is soo passionate about her love of skin that it really doesn't seem like a job to her at all. She is the force behind the Cleanse off Mitt and she is the lady that is pushing Image Skincare to the top. Her snaps are a mix of songs, info, events and all things in between. She is hilarious with her songs that all relate to what shes talking about, but one snap evening sticks out for me. She was talking about women loving themselves and being beautiful and she played a song and you could really see it in her eyes she wants women to feel amazing about themselves. She's a great girl and deserves all the amazing things coming her way.

Jen from Too Dolly MakeUp (toodollymakeup)
Jen is a blogger and MUA that I have been following for ages now, and was able to meet a couple of times this year, and without a doubt she is one of the most talented and down to earth girls you could ever meet. The tutorials she does will blow your mind. She has grown so much this year and I really feel 2017 will be amazing for her.

Sharon Leavy from BEhind Green Eyes Blog (sharonleavy)
Sharon is one of the best bloggers about without a doubt and she has a fantastic snapchat. She has a great mix in her snaps, crafts, beauty, reviews, and tips on budgeting etc. Sharon has become a friend this past year and her warm personality on Snapchat is what pull people in. I love her sessions in Tesco when she snaps all the bargains, but then I want to go and buy all the naughty food she snaps! She does the most amazing crafts with her boys and is definitely one to add.

Niamh from Nima Brush (niamhee82)
Last but by no means least is Niamh the brains and girl boss behind one of Irelands best makeup brush companies. Her little lady Harley appears in her snaps and she is just one of the cutest babies could see. Niamh shows us makeup and her brushes frequently and I love how she explains all the sets and what all can be used for. She's just a real down to earth woman making a name for herself and its great to see.


Well my lovelies, that is my top 25. Some you may know, but I hope you will have found some you didn't know. These snappers all offer different things and I am sure there is something for you in there. Who are your fave snappers, let me know?
Till next time
Ali xxx
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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Womens Christmas Gift Guide

Hey loves
So, if any of you are still looking for a gift for your mum, friend or even a little Christmas treat for yourself, then sit back grab a cuppa and see what I think could be a good option this year. These bits and pieces range in budget but trust me any lady would be happy to receive these this year.




Jewellery
There are so many brands and pieces out there to choose from, but i must admit whilst i was casually browsing Chupi this set caught my eye.  It costs Euro179 and in my opinion is one of those investment pieces that will stand the test of time. It is so fine and intricate with 13, 14k gold fill leaves set on a 14k gold necklace and bracelet and any lady will be happy with this on Christmas Day. Chupi is one of those brands when you open the packaging you know you are going to have something very special.


Stationery

We all need a good diary, and Hippenings is a stationery lovers dream. These planners come in at Euro25 by Ban.do and are sure to be well loved. This planner is the 12 month one and I had the 17 month planner last year and the mix of quirkiness and practicality is perfect.  If this planner isn't to your taste there is lots to choose from on the site.


Perfume *
Now perfume can be a tough one to choose for someone, you really need to know what type of scent they like, but I must admit there has been times where I have been gifted perfume and initially I was worried as it wasn't my normal type of scent, but sometimes its good to branch out. One of the perfumes that recently was kindly sent to me is Angel Muse by Mugler. Now this is one of those scents that I wouldn't normally go for as the original Angel can be quite intense but this is lighter. It still has those same warm and enveloping notes as the original but when it lingers its lovely and light with a hint of sweetness. You can buy the perfume for £64/ euro 80 for 50ml here  or the gift set for £64/ Euro 85 here


Makeup Brushes
I think makeup brushes are a great buy, and although it may seem daunting, companies like Nima make it super easy for us to choose what we need. I really think you can't go wrong with this basics starter set at Euro45 It comes in a gorgeous pouch to keep everything in place. For 7 brushes, that any makeup lover would love it's fantastic value for money. It has everything needed to start a new makeup lover off with, or to add to a budding MUA kit.


Afternoon Tea
I recently went on an Afternoon Tea day to the Europa Hotel in Belfast, and it was such a lovely experience. This was my second time here and I couldn't recommend it enough. The food, setting and staff was impeccable and its really something I would consider buying for a friend or loved one as a Christmas treat. Sometimes we don't want to buy something that can be threw to the back of a cupboard, but rather we want to give an experience or something to remember, and I really think Afternoon Tea is a lovely treat.


Bedtime Story by This Works Gift Set Euro38.50
I was having a little browse on Meaghers site and came across this gift set. We all know how crazy Christmas can be and I think this would be a lovely set to receive. It's so important to take time out and look after yourself and this would make a gorgeous treat for your mum or a friend who is a little sleep deprived over the festive period. 


Cosy Scarf
I was recently in Some1Special in Ballymoney and came across these gorgeous tartans scarves. Do you know the scarves where you just feel cosy and warm well this is without a doubt those! They come in a range of colours and I really think they would make a fantastic gift this year.


Hair Tools
Although a hairdryer might seem one of those boring gifts that would be looked over, I think it's one of those things that you would keep putting off buying yourself, so I think its a great one to receive. The hairdryer of the minute is without a doubt the Dyson but at £299/ Euro349 it really is an investment. I had a blow dry at a local salon recently and they had bought one for the salon and the hairdresser was saying how big a difference it makes to the hair, and I have to admit it dried my hair in no time and I didn't get that really warm head, so if you are feeling spendy then it's definitely something I would treat a loved one to.


So that's it my lovelies, hope you enjoyed this years gift guide. Now I think I need to get back to online browsing. Till next time
Ali xxx








* Any products gifted to me have been clearly marked, but all opinions are my own and no payment has been received*

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Friday, 9 December 2016

Shopping local in Ballymoney this Christmas

Hey loves and welcome back to another post.

So, last Saturday I had the wonderful pleasure of a guided tour of Ballymoney from Louise Boyle from Ballymoney Chamber of Commerce to see and experience lots of what the town had to offer in the run up to Christmas. We were also joined by Jonathan from Fuse FM, the towns local radio station who interviewed me. You can listen to the podcast here needless to say I will be sticking to the writing and not hitting the air waves anytime soon.
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Monday, 14 November 2016

Sometimes it's ok to step back and take a break!

Hey lovelies, I hope you are all really well today. You're probably thinking who is this girl but I promise I am still around I just had to take a little break for a few weeks.

As you all know I struggle with mental health problems and ill health and to not sugar coat anything, things have been pretty crappy the past few weeks and I just needed some me time.
Sometimes I feel I should always be on the go on social media and let's be honest it really is hard to juggle everything and sometimes the balls gotta drop.

My anxiety has been very bad and I have been working with my therapist to try and so find new ways to work through my triggers and keep a sense of control. The depression hit in a big way and I knew myself that things weren't good. The gp changed my meds but unfortunately the new one I was put on hasn't agreed with me so as of today they are changing it again.



Even as I sit and write this I feel I should always be saying sorry about being soo mia but in reality I shouldn't be apologising, I should actually be happy that I knew when it was time to take a little step back and look after me for a change.

I have really came to realise the past 6 weeks or so just how much of an effect my mental health has on me and everyone around me. I feel a burden to my husband and daddy and for me that's just not good. I have to take a hold of things before they really take a hold on me so hopefully I can get my blog mojo back 😃😃

So I just wanted to let you all know I am still here and I will be blogging more as of today,I just needed that wee break to get my head straight and work on me.

Remember lovelies that it's no bad thing to ask for help or to even take a step away from people and look after you. You need to be well and happy before doing anything for anyone else.

Make sure you come say hi and I promise I won't dissappear again without warning.

Have a fab week lovelies
Ali
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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Garnier Moisture Bomb Mask Review

Hey lovelies
So we all know the Korean beauty market has exploded in 2016, and with this lots of brands have brought out sheet masks infused with different serums and potions, all claiming to make us more hydrated, tightened or youthful.


I have tried quite a few different brands of these masks, and I must admit I have been pleasantly surprised by the majority of them.



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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

First year is a pizza cake for Carrick restaurant

   Now, let's be honest, who doesnt love a nice pizza every now and again. Well to celebrate Four Star Pizza celebrating their 1st birthday in Carrick they are giving their customers reason to smile.                                                                                                                                        
Scott Higginson, Managing Director of Four Star Pizza in Carrick serves up a celebratory pizza to mark the popular restaurant’s first birthday.  
     
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Saturday, 3 September 2016

Top 5 products I have been loving this Summer

Hey lovelies!
Today I am going to let you into the top 5 makeup items I have been loving this Summer. These are the items I see myself reaching for regularly, and I thought I would share them with you.



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Saturday, 20 August 2016

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Hey lovelies!

Hope you are all feeling fab today. I am back with a little recipe, that is quick and easy but sure to impress.
Banana bread is one of my favourite treats but I ended up adding some chocolate chips one night hubby fancied something different.


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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Dinkibelle Nail Wraps Review

Hey lovelies

I hope you are all well today! Today, I decided to do something a little different and do a nail inspired review. Now trust me when I say this, I am no nail artist or expert so when this popped through the door from Dinkibelle Nails I had to have a whirl at it.

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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Boots NI celebrates 50 years!

Hey my lovelies, I hope you are well today and loving this fab Irish weather at the moment. 

Boots NI recently celebrated their 50th anniversary and I was honoured to be asked to celebrate the big birthday in the Europa along with some of my other fab NI blogger friends.
When they opened their first store here, David Jones became Bowie, miniskirts were all the rage and Boots was about to change the way we shop forever.
So onto the birthday bash... 
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Thursday, 23 June 2016

Catrice Smoothing Refiner Primer Review

Hey lovelies, I hope you are well today! Summer is finally (fingers crossed) here and for me that means makeup literally sliding off my face. I have tried many many primers, all claiming different things, but when I heard Catrice had this prime and fine smoothing refiner for pores and fines lines out, and it was getting good reviews, I decided to try it.

First off, if you are in the Uk then you are either gonna have to book a holiday for the South of Ireland or you are going to need to purchase online, more about this later.
So this is their smoothing refiner, an oil free silicone based primer, which claims to make your pores seem more refined and filling out any small fine lines and wrinkles to give a smooth flawless base ready for your foundation.

Packaging and Price
This has a gorgeous high quality jar and feels very sturdy, but, my main concern about this packaging is the hygiene aspect. You are going to be dipping your finger in and out every time you use it, so for me I use a little cotton bud to bring some out. I definitely think that is an area that they could reconsider. The packaging and product is definitely a lot more high end looking than its few pound price tag which is always great in my eyes!



Product
So the primer itself has a very creamy, mousse like texture and you need very little to cover the face. I only use this round my nose and chin normally as this is the area I have the most issues with pores. I will especially concentrate it around my nose and buff it in well either using a stippling brush or my fingers. It has a very blush pink colour which don’t worry, does go transparent when you work it into skin and there is the slightest of scents but nothing to put you off it.



Now, I have an oily tzone with large pores on nose area, so you are probably asking why i would use this type of primer as it doesn’t control oil to any great extent, but this is where I will double prime. If i need a real oil controlled matte and long lasting finish that day, I will normally go in after with something like the Nivea post shave balm over my whole face. Doubling up on my primers for me, actually acts as a barrier for the Catrice one to help it stick, especially on my nose.

So the big question is does it actually work? Well to smooth pores, yes without a doubt, but in terms of lines and wrinkles I think this is just a claim too far, as I had no difference in my lines etc. On the days where I have tried it on its own it has definitely worked well round nose, but I do think it works best for me in conjunction with something  else.
I do think its a great primer to help give a good smooth blank canvas, but if you are super oily, I would either use something alongside it, or stay clear and try something else. It does give a lovely hydrated feeling to the skin, so makeup lovers with drier skin this could definitely be one for you to try.



This picture was after a full day of being out and about, and I only had the catrice primer on to give me a good test on it, and it definitely held up well. I would say there was a little too much shine for my liking on the tzone but nothing a little powder couldn't work with. 

Overall I will no doubt repurchase this, especially for the amount of product and the price you pay, but as I said earlier its very hard to get here but with the likes of Meaghers pharmacy here, Inish Pharmacy here and beautyspin.co.uk here shipping it makes these brands far more accessible.
So all in all a great little find from Catrice, and I will definitely be looking more at their other primers.


Have you tried anything from that range, or would you have a good mattifying one to suggest I try?
Till next time preeners

Ali xxx


*This primer was bought by me, and all opinions are my own*
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Sunday, 5 June 2016

Mix and Mingle Event with Hastings Hotels

Hey lovelies, I hope you are all well today. A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of being invited by the team at Duffy Rafferty Communications, to a “Mix and Mingle” event in the Europa Hotel, Belfast.

It was a great opportunity, to get to meet new bloggers, catch up with friends and get to know more about The Hastings Hotel group over cocktails and canapés.



Julie Hastings and Michael greeted us all and after we had a good chat, we all got treated to some amazing cocktails. Patrick the Europas mixologist mixed up a storm. I actually don’t think there is anything that man doesn't know about cocktails.



We started off with the Europa Champagne Cocktail, which was so light and refreshing. Next up Patrick made some beautiful classic French Martinis and then he ended with his own creation, the Irish Smile. When he was discussing what was in this, mainly brandy, Tia maria and chocolate liqueur I honestly didn't think I was going to enjoy it but I couldn't have been more wrong. The cream on top was ever so slightly whipped and it really would be the perfect after dinner treat.




Patrick then threw down a challenge to us all, that he wanted some volunteers for a cocktail making competition, Stephanie from Eat Sleep Chic and Belfastfoodman came out joint winners. Stephanie making her version of the classic Cosmo and Belfastfoodman doing a Calypso King a mix of fruit juices and Malibu.

Another round of cocktails and stunning canapés came round, and we were truly spoilt all night.  At the end of the night there was a fantastic tombola and we all got to choose one of the Hastings ducks that corresponded to a prize. There was so much on offer from meals, to spa days, afternoon tea and overnight stays. I was absolutely thrilled when I chose a voucher for Afternoon Tea for 2 in the Culloden Estate and Spa, so Mr Preener and I can’t wait to get a day away to that!


Overall I had such a fantastic evening. The Piano Bar in the Europa is just stunning, and it is gorgeous just to sit and while away the day overlooking the streets below. If you ever fancy Afternoon Tea in the city centre, definitely check it out. I went last year with hubby and it was stunning and you all know how much I love a good afternoon tea.



Thank you so much to Julie, her team and Michael for such a wonderful evening. Hastings really is the crème de la crème of NI.
If you fancy learning how to make these delicious cocktails, the Europa can arrange cocktail making classes; I definitely think that it would be a fun day out with the girls. Check out everything the Piano bar has to offer here


So for now I am off to dream about those fab cocktails and get our afternoon tea booked, till next time preeners.

Ali xx
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Friday, 20 May 2016

Eleni Skincare Facial at Serenity Nails and Beauty

Hey lovelies, I hope you are well today. I had the pleasure of going for a gorgeous facial in Serenity Nails & Beauty on the Newtonards Road on Belfast a couple of weeks ago. I was invited by ELENI to try one of their facials, and in all honesty as you all know I battle with my skin constantly due to medication, so this was very much welcomed.

I had my appointment booked in and when I arrived I was greeted promptly by Katelyn and was given a lovely tour of the salon, which is one of the prettiest and brightest salons I have ever been in. The salon is located up a steep flight of stairs so would not be suitable for disabled people and with my leg and back issues I really struggled up them, The salon itself is deceptively large and airy and all decorated very girly but classic.





Katelyn went to prepare the room and left me to have a look around the rooms, I am sure you will agree it is super pretty and perfect for a wee treat.

The facial room itself was beautifully lit and gave a gorgeous atmosphere. Katelyn told me to get comfy and she placed the cosiest blanket over me, I instantly felt relaxed.



She said that she would be doing a busy life facial, which I was told was for people who were busy but wanted to give their skin a treat.  I will admit the only thing she asked was if i had dry or oily skin, personally I would have liked a facial more tailored to my skin type and maybe the issues I was having. She discussed it would consist of cleansing the skin, exfoliating and hydrating the skin.

She started by telling me she would be removing the makeup on my face by using a double cleanse. The cleanser had a beautiful citrus scent and it melted any makeup off very easily. Katelyn used a cloth to remove the product and she was very gentle making sure not to irritate my skin. 

Katelyn then proceeded to put a lovely even skin tone mask on and whilst it was working its magic I had a lovely hand and arm massage. I honestly do think a hand massage is the most relaxing thing ever, so I was feeling super relaxed at this stage.
The mask was then taken off and patted dry. Katelyn then proceeded to place a reconstruction serum on my face and my skin felt lovely and smooth.

This was the end of the facial and Katelyn left me to get dressed and she got me a glass of water to rehydrate with. 
She kindly gave me a little sample of the cleanser and the serum which I have since used and the serum really is lovely.

So on the whole I really enjoyed the facial and I definitely think I will be looking into the product range further, as I feel there would be other items I would like to try. 
Unfortunately for me I would have liked more analysis of what my skin needed etc as when I looked into the other facials on offer I do feel something else would have been more suited to my skin problems. Facials range in price from £25 to £55 The product range itself is all beautifully packaged, and they all smelt fantastic, really clean and fresh. The product range is available to buy in the salon, and is beautifully presented in a cabinet in reception so you can browse whilst you wait.



I am sure you will all agree how pretty the salon is, and if I was ever up in Belfast and fancied a treat, I would definitely book in with Katelyn again and maybe try another facial in the range.

If you want to check out Serenity, you can catch them at their Facebook and you can also check out Eleni Skincare at their website

Thanks to Emma at Eleni for offering this facial to me. This is not a sponsored post although the facial was gifted to me, all opinions are my own.

Until next time lovelies stay safe
Ali xxx
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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Fathers Day Launch with Lush Belfast

Hey lovelies, I hope you are all well today.
I was kindly invited by the fab team at Lush, to go along to their Belfast store, to preview their new 2016 Fathers Day launch which is available online now and in store. This was a great opportunity to see all my lovely blogging ladies and gents and to get a sneak peek at the upcoming range.

After a giggle filled car journey to Belfast, myself Victoria from Dotty Diamond and Sera from The Style Guide Blog, met up with Bex from Faeriwood and Tj from Ginger Snaps Vintage Gillian from Eyeliner Flicks and headed over to the store, where we were greeted by the fab Nuala, India, Jake, Gerard and Dan who were soo sweet and lovely and made us all feel at home instantly!
It was also lovely to meet Ian from Rogues + Brogues, Ruth from Willow Lane and Rachel from Kyvbey. Kaya from Toxic Tears, her partner Jake from Metal Ass Gamingand Rory from Worried Bubble were also there.



So we all started out having a good old natter with some bubbly and nibbles, and of course selfies with the professional lighting!, then settled down to get a great demo on some of Lushs best products, including Rub Rub Scrub, Charity Pot lotion, Silky Underwear Dusting Powder and Shimmy Shimmy which I swear I can still see shimmers of and  by the end of it I couldn't tell who smelt of what but in a great way!! The team were fantastic about getting the balance of giving great information, but making it fun and entertaining, and we all felt at ease.


After this we made our own Angels on Bare Skin Cleanser, now that was fun! This was one of the skincare range that I had never tried, mainly due to my dislike of lavender but the ground almonds in this cleanser actually cut the smell of lavender to the point I actually quite like it. It was great to see how simple and few products it takes to make this, just another reason to love Lush. We got to pot up the cleanser and take it home! 

After this, we had a little break and we were all so curious to see the new range! We weren't disappointed, the new Fathers Day range is fantastic, and has something to suit the man in your life.

So the Lava Lamp Bath Bomb is full of orange oils and little purple orbs of cocoa butter, it was so so stunning and the smell filled the room.
Smugglers Soul Facial Scrub has to be the finest exfoliator I have ever tried. The bamboo granules are so fine and the woody sandalwood smell is heaven.
Smugglers Soul Multipurpose Balm is a great wee all rounder, again with the sandalwood scent and incorporating Argan Oil makes it a winner for everyone.
Modfather Bubble Bar is full of citrus oils again and will ensure you feel fab after your bath.
Thanks Dad Soap is like a little square of Jaffa Cake, and the imprint of the letters just adds to the cuteness.
Superdad Bath Bomb has to be the stand out of the range! Its a slow fizzer and we all were mesmerised when they demoed it.

They also have gift sets available indluding Papa Bear Gift set, Walk on the Wild Side set and Super Dad set. There really is something for everyone in this range, 


We really did have an amazing night, and it's wonderful to see a team of staff who are all so enthusiastic about the products but also the company and the ethics they hold. 

We were generously gifted some stunning products and of course I bought some of the Rub Rub scrub, I swear the stuff is magical! 


It was wonderful to see some familiar faces, but to also meet some bloggers that I have been following for ages.

This was Lush in Belfasts 1st event, and they have really set the bar high. Thanks to the team at Lush for allowing me the privilege to have a sneak preview of what is sure to be another successful launch.



Until next time lovelies
Take care
Ali
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Friday, 13 May 2016

Seventeen Brows That Eyebrow Kit Review

Hey lovelies, hope you are having an absolutely fantastic day!! I can't get over the weather here in NI at the minute, and as you know with the heat comes makeup sliding off our faces, well fear no more cause I may have found the eyebrow product for you, to keep them #onfleek (okay seriously how can anyone be cool saying that) all day long.

Thanks to the wonderful team at Seventeen I was gifted this lovely Brows That Kit. I really do think it is a brand that can sometimes be overlooked and really when you look at their products you really can find some gems, this being one of them.



I will give you a little background to my brows, you know the way they say they should be sisters not twins, ladies mine aren't even long lost cousins, and I am always looking for a product to give me that perfect shape. I have very sparse brows and my left one is very short with basically no tail. Before this little beauty landed at my door I have been using a brow gel, now don't get me wrong its lovely but for me and everyday something a bit lighter and more natural is my preference.

This kit comes in a gorgeous sleek black package and includes, a mini brush, an eyebrow pencil in a chocolate brown shade, a powder in a chocolate shade, a wax in a dark brown and a lovely champagne highlight shade. Also included is a fantastic application guide and the kit has a great sized mirror.



The shades themselves are quite cool toned which personally I prefer as I feel a warm brow doesn't suit my colouring. You get a really good amount of each product for the price of £5.99 on Boots they also have a 3 for 2 offer on at the minute, so treat yourself!

So the kit instructs you to use the pencil first to fill in any sparse areas, followed by the wax then the powder to set everything, and finishing off with the highlight. The pencil was easy to use and it had a nice mixture of being soft enough to place product on the brow but hard enough to not be waxy. I filled in my brows and gave them a nice natural shape, and I was happy already. Next I used the little brush and very lightly placed some wax over the brow. My brows have little hairs that stick up and for the life of me it is so hard to get them to lay flat, but this wax is fantastic. I set it all with a little of the powder to finish it off and I must admit, I have been really impressed.



The only negative I have with the kit, is the little brush, personally I like a hard angled brush and I have been using this type of brush with it, and I can't fault it. I have been able to get a really nice natural look and topping it off with the little highlight colour on the brow bone just sets it off nicely. You could get a far stronger look with this product, but for me at the moment this is perfect for everyday for me, when I just want my brows to look groomed. 

I have tried other high street and higher end brands of brow kits, and without a doubt for the price and product you are getting here, you are getting a seriously fantastic bargain and product.
Since receiving the product I see me reaching for this over a lot of my other products which for me says a lot!

Thanks again to Seventeen and Boots for the product. This is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.

If you have tried this, let me know, I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Till next time preeners
Ali xxx


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Saturday, 7 May 2016

Coleraine Specsavers Store Review and lovely new glasses

Hey lovelies, I am back today, with something a little different. I was contacted by the lovely team at Specsavers to see if I would like to take part in a store review. My local Coleraine store, is where I have been going for a number of years now, so I was thrilled to be involved. The team sent a very generous voucher out which I could use for eyewear and testing etc.

With Specsavers you can book online or by phone and I decided to call up to see when they could take me. The lovely Sinead told me they had appointments the next day so we made an appointment that suited me, and the next day off I popped into town.
Specsavers Coleraine is a gorgeous large and airy store, which is lovely and bright and you are quickly greeted. Megan came and spoke to me, and took some details. They are using Ipads now for this, and this was just the start of the up to the minute technology!
They were aware that I was snapchatting the day and Stephen the Customer Service Manager kindly gave me the wifi code as the network wasn’t great, and we all know how temperamental snapchat can be.



I waited in a lovely bright area for Sinead to come to take me to do my clinical assessment. This included lots of explanation as to what she was going to do and what it allowed them to see. She used a non contact tonometer to blow some puffs of air into my eyes to test the pressure inside the eye. She then took a measurement from an auto refractor which gives out an approximate prescription.

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Monday, 2 May 2016

Major Love Monday featuring Marissa Carter

Hey lovelies,so I am sure you have noticed a change to the blog. I felt it was time to shake the design up and I hope you like it. Please let me know if you do.

So onto todays Major love Monday lady and if you haven't heard of this lady where have you been hiding the past few years.

Marissa Carter has taken the beauty world by storm and she is undoubtedly the Queen of tanning.

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Friday, 29 April 2016

Masterclass with k2 Hair and Push Makeup

Hey lovelies, I hope you are all well! I am back today to tell you all about a great day out I had with the team from K2 Hair and Push Makeup.

The team were holding a masterclass and I knew I had to be there! They are so creative and even though I am not a hairdresser or MUA I knew there would be loads to learn, not to mmention lots to buy from the amazing Joico range and their own makeup brand Push. I already had a few bits of Push and trust me you need them in your life!
So I got in contact with Victoria from Dotty Diamond and we decided to travel together to the gorgeous Jacksons Hotel in Ballybofey. We had crazy laughs on the way down and for the 1st time meeting Victoria I swear we knew each other years! 



So we arrived early and after a rendition of Sias Chandelier (if you ever have been in Jacksons you will know what I mean) we ascended the Titanic style swirling staircase and were greeted by the team! 

We all went in and took our places and of course everyone scrambled for their goodie bags while we waited on the class to start. I am sure you can tell from the picture everyone was super impressed. This has to be one of the best if not the best goodie bag from any event I have been to.


We were all eagerly awaiting the class to start and out comes Glenn to tell us all about the day. As I said to Katrina he is a total asset to the company. He kept us all well informed and was really good at keeping the conversation etc flowing. 

Katrina started her first look by doing this amazing celtic braid on her model with some waves and if you see this type of braid you would swear it took hours, but Katrina made it look so easy, thats whay I love aout these types of events you can see up close how someone is doing something and you are able to take notes. Obviously she finished off the look with the famous Joico Hair Shake and the difference this syuff makes is unreal! 

Karen was the MUA for the day, and this was her first time doing the demo and she was so nervous. If you didnt know it was her first time you would have thought she had been doing it years, she was so informative and she answered any questions brilliantly. Karen done a gorgeous spotlight eye as her focus and we got info sheets to take away with us to help us recreate the look. Again Karen made it look so easy!


Katrina did a gorgeous look on her model using the Bonnie eyeshadow and it just made me know I needed it in my life for sure!

We were encouraged to ask questions and Pennys had generously gave spot prizes of 50euro vouchers and people who asked questions were able to win these. I am not the sort of person to shout over people etc and when Glenn saw that I had been trying to ask a question he came over to me and told me he would get Katrinas attention, which he did then proceeded to give me one of the vouchers, eeek I was chuffed!! Again another reason as to how vital he is to the team and the workshops.

We then had a wee break for lunch, and the team very generously gave us sandwiches and prosecco how glam!! We had a chance to meet the team at this stage and finally after months of chatting with Katrina I finally met her! She is one of the sweetest, funniest girls I could have met. She just loves to chat and help people and what that girl can do with hair and makeup is unreal.


In the break we had a chance to shop till we dropped, with lots of Joico products and push makeup there. I currently use the Joico shampoo for toning hair and I highly recommend it. I bought the Hair Shake and I must admit it is fab! The volume I get on my curls now is insane! This was 25 Euro and will last ages. Onto push makeup and my eyes lit up, there she was Bonnie the eyeshadow! I knew I had to have her! I also wanted the White Diamond Highlighter but unfortunately it was out of stock, but the team were offering anyone who ordered on the day the chance to have it shipped for free, which again is fantastic customer service!

After lunch we went back into the gorgeous room, and the team set up for the next looks. Katrina did a stunning beachy look on her model then followed on with a gorgeous up do that again looked so simple but really had the wow factor. She finished the demo off with a gorgeous vintage wave.

Karen did a gorgeous eye look again using the black caviar gel pencil and using just a few steps made it into a glam smoky eye! 


We learned so many tips and tricks and the girls and Glenn had some great advice, Snippets of gold included:
Its important to change hands whilst styling hair to get used to using both hands- Katrina
Always document progress, as its motivational and good for clients to see- Karen
Practice, practice, practice and get social media involved- Glen and Katrina
Use small baby steps, using a light hand on eyes- Karen
You don't have to follow the rules!- Katrina


I honestly do believe this is a company and a team that are going places. They have a unique way of interacting and making everyone feel they are involved. The Push products themselves are amazing and Katrina is so passionate about them. Darcy her little girl was the driving force behind the brand and she believes in having 
"The push to try something different"


Overall, I had an amazing day with Victoria and all the team, since the day I have tried being more creative and getting to grips with more techniques.
Everyone should attend one of these classes if you get the chance.

Hope you enjoyed that wee post on my fab day out. Till next time preeners, keep smiling
Ali xxx

Check out Push and K2 Hair at the following platforms
Katrina Kelly Snapchat      katrinak2hair
Push Makeup Facebook "Push Makeup"
Push Makeup Twitter  @PushMakeup
Push Makeup Instagram  "Pushmakeupire"
k2 Hair Facebook "K2 Hair"
K2 Hair Twitter @katrinak2hair
K2 Instagram "k2hairandmakeup"


Also remember to come say hi on my other platforms
Instagram   passionsandpreening
Twitter passionandpreen
Facebook  passionsandpreening
Email passionsandpreening@gmail.com



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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

L'Oreal Extraordinary Clay Collection Review

Hey lovelies, I hope you are all well today! I am back with a little review of the new Clay Collection from L'Oreal.

This is a new range to the Elvive family, and it is specially formulated for us ladies and gents with oily roots but very dry ends. Rejoice something that will give me an extra day or two and hopefully will erase the issue of the oil slick.
Years ago I never had a major issue with oil production, but with the introduction of new medication, my hair seems to have decided to not play ball. Due to medication etc my hair falls out easily, so I try and make my washes last as long as possible. So when I read about this new collection I knew I had to try it. 

The range includes:
Pre shampoo Masque Treatment
Re-balancing Shampoo
Re- balancing Conditioner
Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Dry Shampoo

I decided to pick up everything apart from the anti- dandruff shampoo, so off I popped to Superdrug where they had them on a half price offer. I had high hopes and was very excited to try them. The packaging is a gorgeous bright turquoise blue and goes well with the blue colour of the product.
The main ingredients in the range are three different types of clay. A white clay to purify and cleanse the roots, a blue clay to hydrate the ends of the hair and a green clay to revitalise and perk up the whole hair fibres. 



So did they actually work?

Pre Shampoo Clay Masque
This is the first step in the range and you apply a generous amount of the product to the scalp and roots of dry hair and leaving it on for around 10 minutes. This masque is quite scented, but it didn't aggravate my scalp and it felt lovely and purifying. After 10 minutes, I jumped in the shower and rinsed it off.
I really did feel this masque helped my hair and the production of the oils. I am easily getting an extra day or two from using this masque, but what I would say is, that I would advise only using it once a week as you don't want your hair getting dry and stripped of the natural oils.
You can purchase the mask here on boots for £5.99.

Re-Balancing Shampoo 250ml
Next I used the shampoo and it felt lovely and cleansing on my hair. It lathered up nicely but also had a gorgeous creamy, luxurious feel to it. I was worried that with all this clay my hair was going to end up very dry and matted, but I had no need to worry, my hair felt squeaky clean but not dry. You can buy the shampoo here for £2.89 from Boots. There is also a larger 400ml option available for £3.99

Re-Balancing Conditioner 250ml
I finished off with the conditioner, again it has this gorgeous clean smell to it and the gorgeous blue colour. It's very lightweight feeling on the hair and in no way did it leave my hair feeling weighed down. I wouldn't say that the conditioner blew me away the same way the shampoo and masque did but it was definitely nice to use. You can buy it here again in Boots for £2.89 with the option of the bigger one available again.

Dry Shampoo 150ml
This with the masque were the products I was most excited to try. Unfortunately it didn't live up to my expectations. It made my hair feel wet, and didn't really absorb any extra root oil. I have tried this a few times but I still am not getting on with it. You can get it here for £3.99.

Keep an eye on Boots and also Superdrug, as they frequently have offers on these ranges, and you can pick them up for less than half price
The mask has became a staple in my routine now and I really feel for anyone suffering with an oily scalp it is worth trying. I will definitely be repurchasing the shampoo, conditioner and masque but for now I will stick to my normal brand of dry shampoo.

Hope you enjoyed this little review, and please let me know if you have tried any of the range.

Come say hi on my other social media links

Until next time
Ali xxx


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Monday, 25 April 2016

Major Love Monday featuring the most inspirational lady I knew

Hey my lovelies, I hope you are all really well. Firstly can I just apologise that this series wasn't on last week, if you follow me on social media, you will know that my Daddy was very poorly with urosepsis and obviously my priority was with him. He is doing loads better now and him being in hospital actually led me to change my lady for this week.
Normally I do someone that we can all go follow and get inspiration from, but this week with everything going on, I felt that I wanted to share with you the most amazingly lady that ever walked this earth, my mummy.





Mummy sadly passed away just over 5 years ago, but every day I still feel inspired by her, and this week especially I felt her strength with me.  My mum was the life and soul of the party, who was the 1st on the dance-floor and the last off it and always had a smile, but deeper than that she just always knew the right words to say at any time to either console or spur you on.

Her attitude to life was infectious, she could make the darkest days bright and even when she first took unwell she still managed to smile. She was able to inspire not only me, but Daddy, Scott and anyone who she met. She fought life and this spirit lives on through us everyday.



She inspires me to fight my illnesses and never let them beat me, she inspires me to pursue my dreams and she inspires me to be the best daughter, wife and friend that I can be.

If any of you knew my Mummy, you will know that she never gave up and this is my gift to you for this Major Love Monday. Never give up on anything, whether it be a dream, illness or dark days. Always know that you are worth it, and know that you can smile and achieve anything.

I hope you all feel a little inspired by the woman who in her darkest hour was still able to push me and everyone around her on.
This was just a little quick post to really say that even though our loved ones may be gone, they can still inspire us today.


Lots of Love to you all, and I will catch you in my next post

Remember to come say hi on my other social media
Twitter passionandpreen
Facebook passionsandpreening
Instagram passionsandpreening

Ali xxx 
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