My current wishlist

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

How to feel better about yourself after a breakup

I can't tell you guys how many times I've been asked this question from my readers, friends and family. It's obviously very apparent and obvious to you guys how much happier I am since I broke up with my ex. I went out with my ex for 6 years and I won't go into too much detail, but I'm a much happier person since I became single. Breaking up with someone is a very hard thing, especially after six years. Even though I initiated the breakup it was still very hard for me. I still cared about how he felt, I cared about his family that became my second family and I was also extremely anxious about whether I was making the right decision. I'm sure other girls can relate to this, but it's even harder when your boyfriend/ girlfriend breaks up with you, especially if you still want to be with them.

I swore to myself I wouldn't be the stereotypical 'Cry into a tub of Ice cream' kind of girl, and instead I'd reinvent my life and become a happier human being. Don't get me wrong, I had a few hiccups along the way which included a few snots and tears, some silly text messages and a few cheeky dominos orders.

'Lets try and be friends...'

While it may work for some, it definitely didn't work for me. Initially that's what I wanted, but my ex had a new girlfriend within about 6 weeks of us breaking up which was somewhat hard to take. Even though I didn't want to be with him, it was hurtful he could move on so quickly (typical woman, I know!). We would text or meet up from time to time, but things would get awkward and old habits die hard. You find yourself going out for a bit of food and end up spending 4 hours with each other, purely out of comfort and familiarity.  Generally one person wants to be friends and the other wants more, queue the awkwardness. When your ex starts getting involved romantically with someone else, it's definitely time to cut the cord. No one likes the ex girlfriend hanging around, and for me it was more stress than it was worth.

'Forgive and forget'

It's a very common thing for people to over-analyse what happened in the past, why they broke up and think what they could do to fix it. I made many a mistake while I was in a relationship, I reacted to things badly, sometimes I didn't react at all. I allowed myself to be treated very badly, I was cheated on several times and I allowed it because I thought I could be the girl to change him. Some people may think its an awful thing for me to write this on a public blog, but it happens to so so so many of us and I wanted to share more and be more honest.

I had the most amazing friendship with him, we met when we were 16. We went through so many stepping stones in life together, finishing school, starting college, getting our first jobs, graduating from college, travelling the world together and laughing a hell of a lot. We got on like a house on fire and he treated me like a princess when we were together, but not so much on his own time. I suppose I was very much blinded by love. I'm a very positive person and I always aim to see the best in people. I had this image in my head that he was the first person I ever loved and we'd end up together, I was desperate to make it work. And so, I compromised my confidence, my mental health and my dignity to achieve something that very few young couples do.

When we broke up I thought about everything that had happened detail by detail. I thought about what had happened throughout the relationship and knew that he didn't cheat on me because of ME, he cheated because he was insecure, he lacked self confidence and he lacked self respect. I was labelled crazy, insecure and untrustworthy, even though I had every right in the world to feel that way. Once I realised this, my mindset changed for the better. Everything that happened made me a stronger person, more secure, more confident and more determined to never allow myself be treated poorly again. So for that, I have to thank him.

'Don't scheme to win him back'

This is honestly the worst thing you can do. There will be stages post breakup where you feel insecure, you'll want the comforts of a relationship and you'll panic. I still panic and think 'Am I ever going to find someone?!', that hasn't happened as of yet and I'm in no rush, but I know when and if I do I'll be a lot more mature and have a lot more self-respect. You broke up for a reason, things weren't working for one or both of you. Better things are on the horizon, even though I haven't found that yet I'm a definite believer.

'Surround yourself with good people'

I am incredibly lucky to have people in my life who know me better than I know myself. When you're in a relationship, you often prioritize that person. Take this free time to spend it with people you love and that love you.  My mam and my aunty Marie are the best people on this planet, the older I get the more I appreciate their opinions and their advice. I couldn't have gotten through this year without them. I've gotten so much closer with them both, they are the most inspiring people and have instilled so much confidence in me over the past year.

My best friends Sarah and Rachel have been there with me every single step of the way. Spending time with me, drinking with me, dancing with me and minding my phone so I don't send any stupid / drunk text messages! I went on my first girls holiday in March to Las Vegas with Sarah, and I laughed my head off solid. Spending time with your friends is definitely the best therapy.

'Focus your energy elsewhere'

When we broke up I started walking by the coast every single day before work. I would walk about 7KM every day, it gave me such good headspace and clarity. I blared some upbeat music and it definitely relieved some stress. It also helped that I lost a bit of weight along the way. If exercising isn't your thing take up a different hobby; dancing, cooking, join a club etc. It's a great way to fill gaps in your day that may otherwise be unoccupied, and you find yourself thinking about them. It's time to focus on YOU and your future, stop putting your energy into negative things.

'The secret'

I read this book on a constant basis to retrain my thinking. Positive attracts positive. Trust me on this one, get the book.

'Take things extra slow'

More than likely, other guys are gonna find out that you're single through the grapevine. Remember that you're in a bit of fragile place, and we all like what we are used to. Don't be a creature of comfort, the past year has been the best year of my life because I broke out of my comfort zone. Have fun, date, but definitely don't chase a new relationship. You may think you've found a really nice person, but be patient and wait. If it's meant to be it will work out and they will respect you need time to heal. After 8 months of being single I went on my first date, and while it was a decent date I didn't pursue it any further because I knew he wasn't for me. Why? Because the time I took for myself I figured out what I wanted and I'm not going to settle for anything less. If you jump into a new relationship you are going to bring problems and insecurities from the last relationship with you. Figure out your own shit, smash your goals, become a more confident person and the rest will follow.

'Figure out your shit'

I focused on myself more than I ever have. I focused on relationships with my family and friends. I focused on my career and bagged myself a promotion. I focused on my fitness and feel so much more confident in myself. I've set short-term and long-term goals. I went to counselling about other things going on in my life and it set my head straight. I see things more clearly, I'm more focused, more confident, more outgoing and I know what I want and I won't stop until I get it.

'Be a bad bitch'

I never really understood the meaning of this word until one of the girls explained it to me. And regardless of whether you are single or not, this should be your goal. Know what you want and do everything in your power to get it. Be strong physically and emotionally. Do everything with class, don't ever let a situation bring out the worst in you. Being single is a learning curve, do it with grace. In saying that, if you need to cry allow yourself. Just try your best not to do it in the local pub where you might bump into your ex's friends! Force yourself to smile as much as you can, even if you don't want to. Don't let people outside your circle know that you're hurting.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post, it is very different to what I usually write about. You all seem to like my more personal posts and so many of you asked how I'm so happy after the breakup, I couldn't possibly respond with an answer this long to everyone. Just remember that what's meant for you won't pass you by, things happen for a reason and that there is always something better ahead.

Love,
Ally
x
















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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Spotlight Whitening: Review

I'm often asked what products I use to keep my teeth so white. Over the past 6 months I've been using a new product called Spotlight Whitening. They are an at home teeth whitening treatment which consist of 14 strips for your top and bottom teeth. Spotlight Whitening was created by two Irish Dentists, Lisa and Vanessa Creaven. Their dental clinic specialises in cosmetic dentistry, and they wanted to create a reasonably priced and effective at home whitening treatment.



You are encouraged to use the whitening strips every day for 1 hour for 14 days in a row, I got amazing results from Spotlight Whitening. This is not a paid or sponsored Spotlight Whitening review, I just absolutely love the product. I didn't get any sensitivity from the whitening strips, they contain the perfect amount of hydrogen peroxide to whiten the teeth without causing any damage to the enamel. They are a pain-free and sensitivity-free way of whitening your teeth. I used the brand Crest Whitening Strips for years and although the results were brilliant, I wouldn't be able to eat or drink for days after I used the strips as I was in so much pain with my teeth.

This week I topped up my teeth by whitening them for 4 days in a row. This removed any surface stains and I'm thrilled with the results. Here's some photos of some unedited and unfiltered photos.




Spotlight have brought out a new whitening toothpaste which also contains 1% hydrogen peroxide, which will work amazing alongside the whitening strips. You can get the whitening strips online here for €39.99 for a two week supply or in pharmacies nationwide.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post!

Ally
xxx







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Monday, 20 March 2017

Vegas Outfit Round-Up

I took a trip of a lifetime with my best friend to Vegas for a week, I had an absolute ball! Lots of you asked where I got certain outfits from so I've done a round up of my vegas outfits here, I'll tell you where I got them, the cost and will include links. I was panicking over what to wear in Vegas and what the Vegas style would be like, so hopefully this helps if you are going to Las Vegas, on holidays or just need some style inspiration.
We took this shot on our balcony, what a view! This embroidered playsuit is from Peppermayo, an australian website. It cost about €50, you can shop it here.


This swimsuit is an old one from ASOS, you can often find it on ebay or depop. My sunnies are from Quay Australia and were €20 on sale.



This was definitely one of my favourite outfits. This sequined dress is even more stunning in person. It's from Pretty Little Thing and costs £100, shop it here. My barely there heels are from Missguided, you can get them here for €30.


I absolutely loved this bikini from Missguided, even though it gave me some crazy tan lines. It cost €42 and you can purchase it here.



This dress was soooo glamorous and heavily embellished, an amazing dress if you have a big birthday or occasion coming up. It is from the Missguided Peace and Love Range, it cost €270 and you can get it here. My heels are also Missguided brand, I bought them in Schuh here.

The next two pieces were made by an amazing Designer called Gina.Gado. Her designs fit the body so perfectly and make you feel so glamourous. 




This two-piece is called the Anabella, which you can order in many different colours. I was lucky enough to get this limited edition print. It costs £105 for the bodysuit and skirt, you can see all of the other colours and purchase here. I paired this outfit with my iridescent mermaid heels from Missguided @ Schuh .





This particular Gina Gado design is called the Elle Dress, I ordered mine in the shade Mocha and it cost £70. You can order it here.

I hope you enjoyed my outfit posts!
Lots of Love,
Ally

xxx

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Saturday, 24 December 2016

My favourite beauty products of 2016

I've found so many beauty products this year that I adore, I've spoken about them all individually across my social media channels and snapchat (allymaherblog). Here's a round up of my favourite products I discovered in 2016.

Makeup


I've spoken about this foundation time and time again, it is the most beautiful foundation I've tried in a long time. It is super lightweight, but gives the skin full coverage and will hide any pigmentation, imperfections or acne. I use the shade 02 Adobe for day to day wear and I use 03 Rosso for when I'm wearing tan, Cailyn is available online and in pharmacies across Ireland. I usually have quite normal skin and I've broken out with acne lately, this foundation seems to suit all skin types and every time I use this foundation on a client they text me to ask what foundation I used. It gives the skin a flawless complexion and luminosity, its hard wearing, long-lasting and doesn't give you a shiny or oily complexion. 


I was so lucky to get my hands on this palette, Beauty Bay stock it from time to time but it always sells out within a few minutes. It has the perfect balance of matte and shimmer shades, the pigmentation is second to none, easy to blend, buttery, and the shades are to die for! If you get the chance to grab this palette, you won't regret it. It is very similar to the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renasissance Palette, I also loved this palette but the holy grail has twice the amount of shadows for the same price.


I was a late one to this party, but I was very pleasantly surprised by this concealer by budget brand Catrice. It costs €3.95 so it won't break the bank account and it is a fantastic concealer, right up there with my long time favourite MAC prolongwear. I use the lightest shade 010 and it is perfect for my skin tone, it has a slightly yellow tinge to it also which is brilliant for covering dark circles. This concealer dries matte and when set properly it will last you all day! Medium to full coverage, long-lasting, no creasing, purse friendly, what more could you ask for?


I was never a fan of liquid liner but Schwing totally changed my opinion. It is so easy to use it's almost foolproof, it's highly pigmented and dries matte which is gorgeous.


Another amazing find from budget brand catrice. I have this highlighter in the shade 'light infusion' and I was blown away by the pigmentation of this product. It puts some of the more expensive and premium brands to shame. It gives the skin a beautiful, intense glow and is perfect for Irish paler skin tones. To me this is a really similar shade and formula to the Balm Mary-Lou Manizer, except it blends nicer into the skin and doesn't have as much of a powdery finish. At €5.50 you can't go too far wrong!


Hair Care


I have an absolute love affair with the brand Milk Shake. My hairdressers in Studio 55 introduced me to the brand and I have so many products that I've repurchased time and time again. Milk_shake products are kind to your hair and only use professional and natural ingredients. My favourites include the Integrity Shampoo, the Silver Shine Whipped Cream, the Silver Shampoo and the Spray Leave In conditioner. If you follow me you will know I have chopped and changed my hair every few weeks this year, I've finally decided that I was born to be a blonde haha but my hair is still in good condition thanks to the Milk_shake Range. They are more pricey than the normal products you'll buy in the supermarket or pharmacy, but believe me they are worth every penny especially if your hair needs some TLC.


I was lucky enough to be invited to the Cocoa Brown Bloggers Breakfast which was such an amazing morning. We were gifted the new haircare products and I've gone through countless bottles ever since. I have a very sensitive scalp and nearly every shampoo I use aggravates it, bar the Cocoa Brown and milk_shake ones. The smell amazing, hydrate the hair and give the hair the most beautiful shine.

Skincare


This brand has been my savior since I broke out with acne. I am obsessed with their products and although I've only tried 3 different products, they have all done exactly what they claim to do. I first heard about the brand when chatting to Niamh Martin from Nima Brush, she always chats about Declare on her snapchat and I got a sample of the Cleansing Milk at the Art of Nima event which I have repurchased twice since. I also got a surprise package in the door a little while ago after I had asked you guys for any skincare remedies for acne, and I got the skin mediation and detox night cream which I found absolutely amazing. They dried up all my spots and took the inflammation out of them overnight.

Coconut Oil

I use a coconut oil from the brand Ultra Pure and it the most fabulous moisturiser for the body and face. My skin tends to become very dry in the winter months and the cold weather, This smells amazing and leaves my skin feeling so so smooth and hydrated.


These whitening strips are just as good as the Crest Whitening Strips that I have used and loved for years. You get a 14 day supply of strips in this pack for €39.99 which is great value and you are guaranteed to get fantastic results. Spotlight are the only European whitening strips that contain hydrogen peroxide, which is the most effective agent to whiten teeth.

Tanning


I'm so so thankful that Bellamianta came into my life this year, I'm well and truly obsessed. It gives the deepest, sunkissed, natural tan. It wears well and doesn't look terrible when it's coming off, it also has no bad smell either which is a plus.


These dry shimmering oils are life! I don't go out without smothering these all over my body, they can also be used as a highlighter for the tops of the cheekbones. You can now get all three oils in one set for only €14.99

I hope you enjoyed my round up of the new products I've discovered and loved in 2016!
Lots of love,
Ally









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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

My Top 25 Makeup Brushes and How I Wash Them

The fact that I have 25 favourite makeup brushes may sound a little bit excessive and I don't every single one of these brushes every day, but they are all little gems and have brilliant uses. Before I became a professional makeup artist I had no idea about the power and brilliance of makeup brushes. I owned about 15 makeup brushes and while they did the job well at the time, they were cheap and poor quality. Throughout my course in Vanity X Makeup Academy I build a professional kit which included both makeup products and great brushes. Some of the following brushes are inexpensive and some a little bit more pricey, but I can tell you now you won't regret buying any of them!

Please excuse some of the grubby handles on my brushes, at least you know they are very well loved and used a lot! 




This brush is a dense taklon synthetic fibre brush. It was designed with a round, domed shape head which is perfect for reaching the contours of the face. I personally use this brush to apply foundation, and my client's absolutely love it. It is extremely soft and it helps to give the foundation the most flawless finish. The CJ can also be used to apply powder products to the face, whether it is a setting powder or blush. This brush is also amazing for cream contouring. The CJ has a beautiful gold ferrule and a duck egg coloured handle.


I picked the Morphe M439 when I was in New York last year, and I've since purchased 3 more. This is a deluxe buffer brush, the domed bristles blur complexion products and leaves your skin looking perfect. This brush is packed with bristles and is super dense, which is amazing for helping product to blend well. The only fault I have with this brush is that it's hard to reach in between the brows and sides of the eyes, as it is quite a large brush.


This is one of the first NIMA Brushes that I ever used, it quickly became one of my favourite makeup brushes. It is so soft, packed with synthetic bristles and gives the skin flawless full coverage. What more could you want?


I purchased the Buff and Blend brush set at the Irish Beauty Show in March and I have to say I'm a huge fan of the majority of brushes in the set. They can also be purchased separately. This is the perfect size foundation brush, it is dome shaped and synthetic fibres. This brush isn't as stiff as the other foundation brushes I've spoken about above, but it actually works really well. It gives the skin a flawless finish and the brush does the work for you.


The Terrie brush is named after the blogger and NIMA ambassador Terrie Mc Evoy. It is a new release and one of my most treasured makeup brushes. I primarily use this brush for applying and blending under eye concealer. It is quite similar to the NIMA Flat Head Kabuki, except smaller. I've also used this for applying foundation and cream contouring. 


This brush is the most amazing powder brush I have ever used. It is insanely soft, theres little to no fall out of bristles and because it is tapered it is perfect for applying product to any area of the face. I use this brush to apply setting powder and for blending any harsh lines when I apply a bronzer. The only downside of this brush is that it can only be purchased in the Elite Face Detail Set, I'm hoping NIMA will release this on it's own as I would probably purchase about ten!! That being said, the Elite Face Detail Set by NIMA Brush includes 5 face brushes and will only set you back €65 which is a brilliant bargain.

7. NIMA Brush ' The Harley'



I cannot get enough of the Harley and I don't know what I ever did without it. The creator of NIMA brush named this brush after her little girl, I love how the brushes are named it gives a really personal touch. The Harley is a brush I can't live without. I use it to apply bronzer and blush. It is a handmade brush made with brushed goat hair, the hairs are so long and whispy! It's a seriously good multi tasker.  

8. NIMA Brush 'The Blaithin'



I adore the Blaithin brush for contouring the face. It has the most amazing tapered point which helps you get the really precise contour. If you use a light hand when applying your contour shade it will be precise perfection, if you want to blend it out a little bit more just put a bit of pressure on the brush.

9. NIMA Brush 'The Tara'



The Tara is another brush that I use for contouring. It is an angled contour brush which is amazing for pushing contour into the cheekbones and giving you a sculpted look. It is also brilliant for blending out product and to give you more of a natural contour.

10. Buff and Blend BB05 Contour/ Blush Brush



The BB05 is an amazing brush for apply blush to the apples of the cheeks and sweeping it backwards. It is beautifully angled and packed with bristles. I used to be terrified of using blush in case I looked like a clown. But this brush is amazing as it seems to pick up the perfect amount of product every time I use it.

11. Morphe M501



This is my ride or die highlight brush and I literally won't use anything else. This is without a doubt my favourite highlighting brush, no other brush has come close. This is basically a super large eye blending brush, it is the perfect size for the tops of the cheekbones. Jaclyn Hill raves on about this brush constantly and I can totally agree why. It picks up the perfect amount of product and blends it beautifully onto the skin.

12. NIMA Brush 'The Danielle' 



The Danielle Brush is the perfect eyebrow brush. I always use the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade and this brush works wonderfully with it. The Danielle is perfectly tapered, stiff and has short bristles, perfection in an eyebrow brush. I often use this brush to apply shadow to my lower lash line or to smoke out shadow on my lid. This brush can also be used to apply liner.


One thing I always do in my makeup routine is apply an eye base. Its the only way that my eye makeup lasts all day and doesn't crease. I use the patricia brush to apply MAC paint pot to my eyelids and up to my brow bone.

14. Inglot 6ss



The Inglot 6SS makeup brush is a recent purchase of mine and I fell in love with it instantly. It is one of the most amazing blending brushes I have ever used! It is pricey in comparison to my other favourite makeup brushes, but it is really good quality and blends shadow to perfection.

15. Buff and Blend BB08



The BB08 is another blending blush that I absolutely love. I think it's fair to say it is the most popular Buff and Blend brush, it is nearly always sold out so if you see it in stock you should grab it.

16. NIMA Brush 'The Donna'



The Donna is another new release from NIMA Brush and it is a beautiful blender made of goat hair. It is perfectly tapered and will blend eyeshadow perfectly and effortlessly.

17. NIMA Brush 'The Jennie'



The Jennie is my #1 brush ever. So much so that I own 5 of them! It is the perfect size for applying shadow into the crease, it is super fluffy and blends shadow amazingly. I also use it for applying highlight to the inner corner of my eye, brow bone, cupids bow. And it is the perfect brush for contouring the nose!

18. NIMA Brush 'The Debs'



The Debs is an amazing crease blender brush. It is so finely tapered at the tip of the brush, so you can get right into the contour of the eye and soften shadow effortlessly. It is made of goat hair and is extremely soft.

19. NIMA Brush 'The Ali'



If you like applying glitters or pigments, this brush is the one! I adore the Ali as it is really small, dense and stiff, perfect for applying loose pigments and glitters to the lid of the eye.

20. Buff and Blend BB10 Angled Eyeliner Brush



I use this brush every single time I create a dramatic blown out smokey eye. It is so thin and stiff, it fits perfectly under my lash line and smokes out black shadow exactly how I like it. This can also be used as an amazing winged liner brush or a brow brush.

21. Zoeva 317 Winged Liner Brush



I don't know what I did to apply my inglot gel liner before I came across this brush. It is seriously tapered and stiff, exactly what you need in an eyeliner brush. This is ideal for beginners as the shape of the brush does the work for you.

22. NIMA Brush 'The Yvonne'



The Yvonne is another amazing brush for gel liner. I use this to create the feline cat eye and for the inner corners of my eye. I've had mine for a year now and it is still in perfect condition. NIMA brushes are amazing quality and are made to last.

23. Buff and Blend BB02 Pencil Brush



I've never found a pencil brush quite like this one. I have a heap of them and normally I don't reach for them, but this one is one of my favourite makeup brushes that I reach for regularly. The bristles are extremely soft and smoke out shadows amazingly, especially along the lower lash line.

24. Nima Brush 'The Ollie'



The Ollie is the most amazing smudger brush I have ever used. I demoed at the NIMA Brush stand in the RDS last month and I have used this brush every single day since! It is also a brilliant brush for smoking out eyeliner or apply shadow all over the lid.

25. Fuschia Concealer Brush



This brush is absolute perfection. It is really small and fits perfectly under the eye. The bristles help to blend out the under eye concealer, and it doesn't soak up product either. As far as I know this brush only comes in a 10 piece set, its a brilliant set for €45 though. I've had mine since last year and they are still in great condition and the brushes come with a black brush tube which is so handy for when you are travelling or going on holidays.

How I wash my brushes

Being a makeup artist means my brushes get a lot of use and touch a lot of faces, I am a tad OCD when it comes to making sure my brushes are spotless. For a deep clean I am a massive fan of the BLVD cosmetics brush bath, I got mine from TRNDbeauty.com. I got the lavender scented one and it is just amazing! I recently ran out of it and it seems as though TRND beauty are out of stock, if anyone can recommend a good alternative it would be very much appreciated.

In between uses I spot clean my brushes and I've used so many different products for this. I was a big fan of the mac brush cleaner, my issue with this is that it doesn't have a spray pump and I went through the bottle very quickly. I also tried the inglot brush cleaner and although it is effective, I absolutely hated the smell its very pungent and my brushes felt very dry afterwards. I'm using the Makeup Revolution brush cleaner at the moment and I'm very impressed so far, it cleans brushes very well and smells quite nice too! The Makeup Revolution brush cleaner was recommended by the gorgeous girls at Matte to Metallic, check out their blog here.

I'm also a massive fan of the NIMA brush egg. This is a little tool with grooves and ridges which helps to lift makeup, dirt and sebum out of your makeup brushes. It definitely speeds up the process of washing brushes and you don't have to use as much cleaning product either.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post,
Ally
xxx




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