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Body scrubs, hair masks and honey πŸ―

When I hit the age of 15 my skin naturally broke out in acne. I’ve had a lot of skin problems including eczema and a condition known as ‘pityriasis rosea’ which led me to lose all confidence in myself. I couldn’t wear shorts because it was a dry skin condition that covered the tops of my legs- and unfortunately it spread. My elbows were smeared in confidence knockers and I was completely distraught. However, after using cream after cream, it left my body forever πŸ™‚

Laying aside all of my unfortunates, I’ve always had very dry skin- like Sahara desert dry- but it’s nothing a little moisturiser can’t fix. I use the mango body moisturiser from the body shop and it has honestly changed my life. It’s so nourishing and refreshing, the only bad thing about it is that if you’re using it in winter months, you’re smelling the summer.

I bought a couple of products from penneys and Sephora and tested them out just to see if they would work with my skin and why they were so cheap?! Firstly I bought a hair mask from Sephora when I visited Madrid a couple of weeks ago. The hair mask comes with a cap in the bottom half of the package and the top half is the product. You leave it in over night and wash it out in the morning. I loved this product so much even though my hair is in quite good condition due to getting it cut a few months ago. The mask made it feel even softer and more luxurious. It was €5 but I definitely prefer tubs of masks just because you get more use out of it.

The second product I bought is a honey face mask from penneys. Penneys has been killing it with their face and hair products lately and.. it’s a tub! It’s the perfect size and it was only €4. Unfortunately when I bought it there was a seal over the lid so I couldn’t see the consistency- when I saw ‘honey’ I thought it would be the stickiest thing ever.. but when I opened the seal it was actually honey and jelly so it was more of a jelly consistency and not sticky at all! Another thing about this product is that there was no instructions on how to use it which I wasn’t delighted about. Once i had applied it to my face after only about five minutes the jelly had set in and hardened so it’s not too difficult to do without instructions! Of course knowing my dry ass skin, I did have to use moisturiser after washing off the honey mask but it did truly soften my skin and definitely would recommend!

Well I’m definitely saving the best for last. A coffee body scrub purchased from penneys and retailed at €3.50 genuinely changed my life. I absolutely love the smell (and taste) of coffee so this was perfect for me. The consistency wasn’t too hard or sore to apply to my skin- it was a gentle ground coffee texture and although it’s extremely messy it is 100% worth taking the extra time to wash out the shower! It’s a very cheap dupe for ‘frank body’ and their coffee scrub. For all those who hate the smell of coffee, I truly hope and believe penneys will turn upppp and produce different scents of the same product!

So all in all a successful blog post for me, now off to bask in the ambience of my fresh skin and hair 🌈

Colour conversion

I remember the days of wearing monochrome striped leggings, burgundy shaded fake vans and American flag prints.. I was 12. I didn’t care. Looking back on pictures from that era is comical because I wouldn’t see myself in anything near the like in the year of 2018.

Transitioning from the crazy, mismatched prints to blue clip in extensions and heavy kohl based eyeliners, again, I would laugh at my failed attempt at the funky grunge style. What came to follow was something I wouldn’t laugh at. When I hit 16 I began to just wear black. It was the only thing I felt comfortable in, the only thing that hid me from any street attention. I was comfortable, because I was invisible. It was a joke for many who knew me- ‘oh that girl who always wears black?’ Yep, that was me.

I enjoyed the comfort of black worn out jeans, over worn black airmax and my classic black bomber jacket. Even though I wouldn’t look back on this style and laugh, I do wonder what I was thinking in terms of why I chose to wear this. I didn’t particularly feel amazing in these clothes, the sole purpose of my clothing range was comfort and a lack of confidence. I didn’t know who I was and to be honest, I never thought about it.

The end of 2017 was a huge leap for me in relation to my confidence and the choice to be me. When I joined an arts college in September 2017, it was the biggest positive that was yet to happen. I walked in and immediately discovered a new group of people. These people and their styles were something I had only dreamed of having the confidence to wear. And you know what? They gave me confidence just by wearing what they wanted.

I still like black. I will never dismiss that because it’s a staple. It’s an neutral colour in relation to colour coordination and I would honestly plummet into a swirling black(pardon the pun) hole without it. So September came, and by October I was different, I changed for the better. By the end of 2017, I had cut all of my hair off and that was something that was sentimental to me. I’ve heard that hair is 70 percent of your looks and because mine was so long I always felt that I didn’t need to have the most beautiful face because my hair masked my other features. However, when I got my hair cut to my shoulders, it enhanced my other features and it was just something that I had to get used to- and I did. So this is two before pictures of my hair.. and two after.

Then something spectacular happened. I, alannah hanley, bought a fucking orange denim jacket. This sounds like the stupidest sentence ever constructed but for me to wear orange was a game changer. Recently having changed my instagram from a vintage theme to the world of pastels was difficult because I knew I didn’t have the clothes for this. I don’t wear lilac or powder blue or baby pink, but I changed my theme for a reason and I want to have the confidence to wear these clothes so why not just do it.

Moral of this blog post is please please just wear what you want. I’ve gotten nothing but compliments on my new style so why would I revert to plain Jane? You’re all rays of sunshine that need to push the moon out of the way to shine β˜€οΈ

New beginnings

So whilst January is coming to an end, my belated new years resolution consists of a few goals. A lot has happened in my life since the 1st of January 2018- sailing into my second semester of my first year in college, hopping on my first solo flight to the beautiful city of Madrid, making new friends and becoming closer to others, this year has already given me so much.

This year is for the new beginnings. This year is about becoming my own person. This year is for me. I am used to my typical surroundings that followed me in 2017, the close friends and family was a comfort for me- I didn’t like to be alone. However, something must have clicked in my limbic system recently. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the people I have in my life and I couldn’t be happier that this is the life I get to live, but I feel happy with the idea of being alone sometimes. This is number one. Being a resolution for the beautiful year ahead, number one is to be ok with being alone. It’s always a good idea to be with yourself. Even just thirty minutes a day to reflect or think. Open a book, run a bath, just do something, anything for you.

I am not a good saver. And I began the paragraph with this particular opening because it sets the scene for e v e r y t h i n g I’m about to say. Let me repeat it. I am not a good saver. I spend every coin I have on the unnecessary things in life- new clothes that are worn twice because I am bored of them, bottles of wine, coffee etc. I am one of those girls that gets through a Monday morning and rewards herself for the rest of the week. I am unstoppable, but, I am regretful also. I don’t want to be regretful, I want to be free. I want to do what I want in life, face ramifications, learn from it and never regret. So I guess I have two new years resolutions here. Number one– save some money for the things that you will remember in life, the things that you really want to do or achieve, the things that will bring you places in the future that you could only dream of. Number two– do not regret. Make a mistake, learn from it and move on. Do not waste your life living through a regret- (spoiler.. ClichΓ© alert!) Life is too short.

Number three– travel. Although the easy east side of Ireland is the place I call home, I have come to realise it may not be where I belong. maybe its all about leaving for a while, breathing a different kind of air or unsuccessfully attempting to get that bronzed, dewy glow. I want to experience new surroundings, different ethnicities, pastel coloured buildings, Parisienne-styled balconies, rooftop bars that overlook the beautiful cities I will experience and frothy cups of unfamiliar coffee.

So this is where it ends.. For now.Β