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
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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**
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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
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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
Ali
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Sunday, 11 March 2018

Celebrating Mothers Day without your mum

Hi lovelies, so another year comes round and it's Mothers Day, the cards,flowers and gifts are lovely to look at, but for me and many others it's tinged with utter sadness.



So when everyone else is celebrating, what do you do? I always lay a lovely flower arrangement and release some balloons for Mummy but this year I am going to start a new tradition, I am going to celebrate the day with lots of her favourite things, so I thought it would be a nice post to do, to give you some ideas if may be you or someone you love has lost their mummy.

These are just a few ideas and I would love to know what you all think.

Grab a box of her favourite chocolates or enjoy her favourite meal
My mummys favourite chocolates were either Milk Tray or Fererro Rocher, so I think this year I am going to treat myself to a little box. Maybe your mummy loved a roast dinner or a takeaway so order in and enjoy.

Enjoy her favourite movie
One movie that sticks out for me is Legally Blonde. Mummy loved this and we watched it a few times when we were in the hospital and watching that smile on her face was fantastic. So anytime I feel rubbish I always put the DVD on and instantly I feel uplifted.


Light a candle that reminds you of her
The Yankee candle clean cotton was mummys favourite and this is what I have in my bathroom, apart from it reminding me of her and her fab smelling house it's genuinely a gorgeous fresh candle. Different smells can instantly transform your mood.

Make a bouquet of her favourite flowers
We always lay an arrangement of flowers on her anniversary which is the 17th March so this year I am going to do that, but for Mothers Day I plan on getting some tulips,roses,cala lillies and gerberas and making an arrangement for the grave and also one for our house. Flowers can bring so many memories and it's a great way to remember someone.

Treat someone or some people special to your Mummy
The nurses and staff in Causeway hospital CCU ward always have always held a special place in my heart and this year I am going to treat them to some goodies. You could maybe treat an Aunt or your mum's best friend. Even treat your own best friend who helped you through a hard time when you lost your mummy.

Snuggle up with something that reminds you of her.
I have mummys dressing gown and I am not afraid to admit that I snuggle up with it sometimes when I am feeling sick or a bit down. Dad washes it for me and it has the smell of the soap powder etc that I instantly associate with her so it's definitely nice to have that.

I also wear a piece of her jewellery a lot. It was the necklace she wore on our wedding day, and I put it on, on the day of her funeral and wear it a lot now especially holidays and special occasions.



These are just a few really simple things you could do to help remember and celebrate her life. It's very easy to shut off from these days and to not want to celebrate and yes I completely did that for a few years, but now coming into her 7th anniversary I feel it's time to start honestly and truly celebrating her and everything she stood for, so on mother's day this year I will be watching Legally Blonde with a box of Milk Tray and maybe even a wee vodka and coke.

I truly hope you all find a way to celebrate and if you're lucky enough to still have your mummy with you, give her a huge hug and make sure she knows how much you love her.

I would love to hear below how you plan to spoil your Mummy

Till next time lovelies
Stay safe and keep smiling
Ali



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Sunday, 4 March 2018

How to feel put together in 5 mins with minimal makeup and stress

Hey lovelies,so I hope you're all getting over the Beast from the East and getting back to some normality and not being housebound due to the crazy snow storms.



Now I know there are days that we want full on glam, contour,5 different eyeshadows, foundation and lashes but let's be honest most of the time, I want to be able to just look put together quickly and get out the door.
For me, there are days where I feel confident in my own skin and I will go out and rock no makeup,but I won't lie, having a little bit of skin coverage and even mascara and lippie does wonders for my confidence.

I think as I get older I get to know what things I need to do to feel put together and in the least time possible, and I definitely feel these are the things that I am reaching for a lot at the minute.


Obviously you can switch out these products for what you feel suits your skin etc, and whether you want to focus on certain areas. I honestly feel that we can feel that little bit nicer and put together in a few minutes, and we can take on the day with a slick of lippie.

Personally for me I need some sort of coverage on my skin as I suffer from rosacea and my skin isn't a great tone.  I picked up the It Cosmetics CC cream when we were in America and if you follow me on social media you will see I wasn't overly fussed on it the first couple of uses. I used it with a damp beauty blender and was not getting much coverage at all, and I was a bit disheartened as anyone I spoke to who used it absolutely loved it. Then I decided to try it with a dense Kabubki type brush and without a doubt it's the brush to use. Now I can use 2 pumps of the cream and dot it over the face and blend in. You can still see my skin and some freckles etc but it just evens out the tone and gives a little coverage.


I use the LMD palette from B Perfect Cosmetics as my all round face palette. I just use the shade prinny all over my lid, the bringing shade in a quick sweep over the contours of my face and peachy as a little blush. I really do think this is the perfect palette to use for a quick look. I could also use a little of the black shade for my brows if i need to, but I am trying to keep on top of the waxes and tint at the min. This was the only palette I used on holiday and that for a beauty blogger says something!



If someone asks me what is the one thing including live without in terms of make up it is always going to be the Catrice glam eyes mascara. I go to the Pennys in letterkenny to get this and it's worth the 2 hour drive to stock up! I am lucky I have pretty good lashes but this just takes them to the next level. A couple of layers of this and you look like you have falsies on and the best thing is it's only a couple of pounds. Definitely one of my best ever finds.


My eyes can get really dark and it's hard to find a concealer that doesn't sit in my little lines, but I was kindly given this Note Cosmetics concealer last year and it's fantastic. It's super full coverage and I have actually found that on good skin days I can get away with a little of this below my eyes and set with some powder and I am good to go.




We all need a slick of lippie to finish off with and since buying my first Tom Ford in Casablanca it's been hard to use anything else if I am honest. When I put it on I just feel that little bit stronger,fiercer and ready to take on the day, and if I am honest when I am bed bound some of the time to feel that strength it's flipping fab.



So there you have it, a few ideas to make you feel pulled together and on point. I would say a nice manicure and brow tint always helps matters too.

It's all about finding what makes you feel amazing, but remember guys and girls Makeup is there to just enhance us, we are all fabulous and just as amazing without out.

Till next time lovelies
Keep smiling and knowing your worth
Ali


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Tuesday, 27 February 2018

NYC Must See

Hey lovelies, hope you're all well today, and the Beast from the East storm hasn't hit too bad yet. 
So, if you follow me on social media, you will know Scott and I visited New York a few weeks ago to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary, and boy what a trip it was.
I thought I would start with a quick post on the top few things I think every first timer to NY should do. I am planning daily diary style posts for the next couple of weeks to show you guys what we did everyday and have lots of tips and info etc, so stay tuned for those.



So for us being first timers to the city, we wanted to visit a number of the main tourist attractions and after a lot of research and planning, we decided that these were our top few to visit. 


Times Square
Not going to lie, when we walked into the centre of Times Square it was like another world. The lights, sounds, people and madness is just like what you see in the movies and we soaked it all in. It was the perfect way to start our NYC trip. I think you definitely have to visit it just to experience it and immerse yourself in the craziness. 






Top of the Rock
This again was one of our big to do things, and it really didn't disappoint. I would say either go early in morning or late at night if you can for quieter times and shorter queues. We arrived at around 9.30am and there was only a few people along with us. The views were just stunning, and to see the city spread out in front of you was amazing. There are a number of tickets available but basic prices start from $35 and there are options to upgrade to VIP. We had the New York Pass, which I will be talking about in my next post and we took the standard ticket with it, and honestly it was fine. I would say if you are thinking of going later in day, possibly look at booking time slots etc, but as I say we went early morning and we went straight through. You can see all of the ticket options here




Central Park
When you think of NYC you always think of central park don't you? Central Park spans for miles and it would be impossible to see it all. My biggest piece of advice here is to pick your places you want to see and plan your route that way. We really wanted to see Strawberry Fields, and the Alice in Wonderland Statue and it didn't disappoint.



Empire State Building
We decided to do this late at night, to get the night time view of the city. Its open to 2am and we went at about midnight and apart from another couple we were the only people there. Again we had our New York Pass and we went straight up. Again like the Top of the Rock there are options to book times etc and VIP experiences but if you time it right there will be little to no queues. Here is the link if you want to check out the different ticket options.





9/11 Museum and Memorial
This was one of our main reasons for visiting the city. If anyone knows me in real life you guys know that 9/11 effected me personally and visiting the memorial was definitely needed. The atmosphere arond the memorial pools is something that cannot be described. I must admit I got quite angry as there were people talking selfies and one girl having a full on photo shoot there and I couldn't help feeling it was disrespectful. To stand there and remember what happened is something I will take to my grave. We went into the museum and again we had the NY pass to use. There was a queue here, and we just happened to get served before 2pm and we could go into that slot for admission. There are tours available but we decided we wanted to do it by ourselves, mainly if I am honest because I knew I would be very emotional. The scenes in that museum is something that will both haunt and inspire me. The sadness was palpable and Scott and I had some quiet reflective moments where emotions really hit us, we talked things through, and found ourselves angry and sad all in one emotion. It has been done so so tastefully and it has made a lasting impression on us both.




Go see a Broadway Show
I had a dream to see a Broadway show ever since I started to love musicals very early on. Since Scott proposed to me with a little Simba teddy, we knew there was only one show for our 1st time at Broadway. The Lion King at the Minksoff Theatre was just outstanding. We prebooked tickets and not going to lie we paid a lot of money for them, but to be so close and immersed in it was amazing. What I will say is, this theatre like many of them is quite small so any seats are good. The show was fantastic, I cried through the whole 1st half. Scott said he looked at me at one point and he said I looked so happy and I really was. There are outlets like TKTS booths in Times Square, or the theatres themselves will sell discounted tickets, so if you aren't too fussy on seating you can definitely get a bargain.




Brooklyn Bridge
This is such an iconic bridge and its definitely a must see in my opinion. We decided early in the morning to get a cab over into Brooklyn which was only a few dollars from our hotel and he dropped us off about 10 mins walk from the bridge as we wanted to have a wee walk. So we grabbed a croissant and started to head towards the bridge. The walk over it took us about 50 mins, it would take someone walking at a normal pace maybe 30 mins but I was slow and we were taking all the selfies, so definitely factor that in. The views of Manhattan skyline was absolutely breathtaking.





Statue of Liberty
Again when you think of NYC you think of Lady Liberty don,t you? We decided to take a dinner cruise to see her in all her glory at night time and the views definitely didn't disappoint. I will be talking more about the dinner cruises in the next posts, but just say it was a comedy of errors on the 1st one. There is the Staten Island Ferry which is free and I know a lot of people use this option to see the statue. There are also lots of boat tours or water taxi tours available that will allow you to get a great view.




So those would be my top choices for a 1st timer to the city. We did a lot more, but that will all be chatted about in upcoming posts. Just because I feel these are the top things to do please do your research and see what takes your fancy. Its a city that has stolen my heart and I would go back in an instant.

Till next time lovelies
Stay safe
Ali xx
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