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St. Patrick's Day is coming up in less than a month and it's one of my favourite days of the year. If you know me you'd know that I'd take any excuse to go out for a few drinks and going out means an excuse for a new outfit. Being an ex-student still living a student lifestyle with the bank balance to match, I know how hard it can be to step out in stunning new outfits every night so with the help of my favourite PrettyLittleThing I've put together some St. Patrick's inspired outfits that won't break the bank.


I paired these black scuba skinny trousers with this green tie front top because it's essential to wear green on St Patrick's Day. I've been really loving tie front tops recently so when I saw this I had to get it.



I also got this distressed oversized denim jacket to go with it and I'm obsessed. I've been wanting a black denim jacket so bad because it's so easy to pair with anything and I really love that this one is distressed as I think it adds an edge to my outfit.


For my second outfit I actually decided to steer away from green and instead I went for this snake print bandeau because obviously St Patrick banished all the snakes from Ireland. Yes, that actually was my thought process.

I paired it with these pink slim leg trousers and I think it looks really good. This is probably one of my favourite outfits I've worn. I'm obsessed with the trousers, and they're so comfy!


*Pretty Little Thing gifted me the items above however all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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St. Patrick's Day is coming up in less than a month and it's one of my favourite days of the year. If you know me you'd know that I'd take any excuse to go out for a few drinks and going out means an excuse for a new outfit. Being an ex-student still living a student lifestyle with the bank balance to match, I know how hard it can be to step out in stunning new outfits every night so with the help of my favourite PrettyLittleThing I've put together some St. Patrick's inspired outfits that won't break the bank.


I paired these black scuba skinny trousers with this green tie front top because it's essential to wear green on St Patrick's Day. I've been really loving tie front tops recently so when I saw this I had to get it.


I also got this distressed oversized denim jacket to go with it and I'm obsessed. I've been wanting a black denim jacket so bad because it's so easy to pair with anything and I really love that this one is distressed as I think it adds an edge to my outfit.


For my second outfit I actually decided to steer away from green and instead I went for this snake print bandeau because obviously St Patrick banished all the snakes from Ireland. Yes, that actually was my thought process.

I paired it with these pink slim leg trousers and I think it looks really good. This is probably one of my favourite outfits I've worn. I'm obsessed with the trousers, and they're so comfy!


*Pretty Little Thing gifted me the items above however all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Last month I turned 21 and I had been planning on writing this post for quite a while but I smashed my laptop a little while back so I ended up being MIA on here again. For Christmas I got a brand new laptop and I was dying to get back into blogging again because, although I had become quite bored and felt like I no longer had a place in this community, it wasn't until I literally couldn't write that I really missed it (nothing like a smashed laptop to realise you actually like writing). So here's yet another time that I start a blog post explaining why I've dropped off the Internet and promising that this time I'm back for good (I've come to realise that I'm probably lying to myself and you won't see me for another six months but we'll see..)



Anyway..

I turned 21 last month and I had been hoping to share this post on my actual birthday but here we are over a month later so clearly that didn't happen. I always love reading posts about things people have learned in their lives because I always like to think that I take something from them, even it's a simple lesson, so I wanted to share a few of my own simple things I've learnt in the few years I've been around.

◦  When it comes to friendship, it really is quality over quantity.

◦  No matter what is going on in your life, get up, shower and get dressed. It will make a world of difference to your mood, even if it's hard. 

◦  Spend time with your grandparents if they're still around.

◦  Try your best to forgive and forget. Grudges and anger will only hurt your own happiness.

◦  Accept every opportunity that is offered to you. It could open a whole world of possibilities. 

◦  Self care is more important than anything else. Look after yourself, inside and out. 

◦  Don't save expensive clothes for special occasions. Wear them on a Tuesday. Don't save expensive beauty products. Use them when you need some TLC. 

◦  Don't rely on your phone or laptop to keep your pictures safe. Print them out. Stick them on your walls. Put them in a photo album. Don't lose important memories.


◦  Buy a good quality eyelash curler.

◦  Don't regret anything. You wanted it at some point. Instead laugh at your silly mistakes and move on. 

◦  Don't let people take advantage of your kindness. 
''Some people will take until you have nothing left, and then hold a grudge against your hand for being empty.''
◦  Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Don't be afraid to quit something if you're unhappy. It's okay to not know what you're doing. 

◦  This next one comes courtesy of my Mam: ''Always try to look your best. You never know who's watching you.''

◦  Never forget who was there for you in the bad times and who left you when things got tough.

◦  Don't be afraid of getting hurt.

◦  Double wash your hair.

◦  Don't settle for anyone or anything less than you deserve. 

◦  Work hard at what you love. 

◦  Make your bed and open your windows every morning. 

◦  Stop worrying. Live in the moment. Don't sweat the small stuff. Tomorrow carries its own worries so stop thinking about what you can't change. Life has a funny way of always working out.

◦  Be kind to everyone you meet. You never know when your paths will cross again. 

So here's to turning 21 and starting 2018 happy, healthy and hoping to keep my blogging up once again. Until next time, 
Aileen x 


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Everyone knows I'm all about self care so when Crabtree and Evelyn sent me their press release about their new collection of products for the mind and body and asked if I wanted to receive some of the collection I couldn't say yes quick enough. They asked me which products I would like to receive but everything sounded so amazing I let them decide. I mean, how could I ever choose between Rosewater and Pink Peppercorn, Goatmilk and Oat or Lavender and Espresso? It all sounded so amazing, and each range offers different benefits to the mind and body to help you be your best self.

In the end, they sent me out the Lavender and Espresso Hand Therapy* for Calming, the Pomegranate and Argan Oil Soap* and the Pomegranate and Argan Oil Body Lotion*, both for nourishing. I've been trying them out for quite some time (mainly because it's taken me so long to get around to posting this) and I have honestly been long them so much.


Lavender and Espresso Hand Therapy*
I'm a huge fan of hand cream but normally I go for Soap & Glory's Hand Food, or I use my Mam's L'Occitane Lavender hand cream, so I was excited to try this hand cream in comparison. The main thing I love about this collection is the scents. Lavender and espresso really intrigued me and it really didn't disappoint. It smells like Lavender but it's just a little more bitter, which is actually a nice change. Any time I apply this hand cream I genuinely cannot stop smelling my hands and the scent lingers for hours. I don't think I've ever smelled anything so nice in my life. The actually product is amazing as well because it is so moisturising and it dries in immediately. Drying time, for me, regarding hand creams, is one of the most important things because I hate waiting around for it to dry in, and you can't use your phone and everything feels greasy but this hand cream dries in in seconds.


Pomegranate and Argan Oil Soap*
Call me old-fashioned but I love nothing more than a bar of soap. Give me a bar of soap over a bottle of body wash any day. Also, I'm obsessed with the packaging of this soap (I literally hate that I wrote that sentence but I actually do love it so much). At first I wasn't too gone on the scent of this soap, because I prefer warm scents and this, to me, was very summery, but the more I used it, the more it grew on me (similar to Orangeasm by Soap & Glory). Unlike a lot of soap bars. this one actually tends to the skin and doesn't feel as though it is drying your skin out. It's really calming and gentle on the skin and can be used all over the body or solely for the hands.


Pomegranate and Argan Oil Body Lotion*
Like the Pomegranate and Argan Oil Soap, I wasn't initially a fan of the scent of this product but, again, it grew on me and now I actually quite like it. The product itself is brilliant, although I still would refer something a little less 'fresh' coming into the winter months, I can't deny that it is super nourishing and my tan goes on so smoothly after using this, and I can still catch the smell hours later even after applying tan, which I've never experienced with other similar products.

All in all, I'd give what I've tried from this collection a massive thumbs ups because it honestly does feel a little more luxurious than other products I've tried. I'm still not 100% convinced on the Pomegranate and Argan Oil scent but maybe I would prefer it coming into spring and  summer, but I'm a massive fan of the hand cream, not only because it's a fab product but, because it smells so amazing. I definitely want to get some more of the Lavender and Espresso range particularly coming into the winter months.

Have you tried anything from Crabtree & Evelyn yet?


Love, 
A
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Hello, hello. It's been a while. Quick update before I get into the nitty gritty of this post. I've moved back to Galway and I actually have a HOUSE and a BED after sleeping on floors, couches and other questionable places for a month. I'm now working in Penneys and I actually really, really enjoy it. I broke my laptop so blog posts have been few and far between. Hopefully I can find some way of keeping up with my blog (I've written this blog post completely out with pen and paper and just transferred it and I feel ancient) but bare with me for now.

Despite smashing my laptop, I really wanted to get a blog post out this week because it's OCD Awareness Week, a topic that is very close to my heart. The first time I wrote about OCD on my blog I was just coming to terms with it. I had just been diagnosed and I was having a hard time understanding it. I wanted to get my thoughts out on a 'page' to kind of help me get a grip on it. The post was a bit incoherent, imo, although it is my most popular post to date.


This time around I feel like I'm a different person. Yes, I still have OCD and I still have to work on that every day, but now I feel like I am more in control, as opposed to it controlling me. Honestly, it used to control every single aspect of my life and it was constantly something that I thought about. It is still on my mind the majority of the time but I have overcome a lot of my compulsions and I've learnt to cope with the rest of them. I'm happier now and it is not something that I feel holds me back as much anymore.

I'm not saying I'm cured, because I still have off days and sometimes even weeks. I still have episodes of OCD which can be very upsetting, but they no longer knock me down to the extent that they used to. Because of all this I wanted to do a more detailed post about OCD, how I manage it and how it affects aspects of my daily routine, since I now have a greater understanding of my own OCD.

I was first diagnosed with OCD at the end of my first year of college and I honestly couldn't believe it as it was something that I didn't understand at all. For me, I really believed in the stereotype of OCD, i.e. wanting things to be in order etc. When people think of OCD they often think of people washing their hands or wanting things done a specific way and a lot of people tend to think that they are 'soooo OCD' because they are tidy. OCD is much, much more than that.

OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which I'm sure nearly everyone knows, but lets break that down and explain it properly.

Obsessive is the unwanted and intrusive thoughts and ideas that the sufferer experiences. Compulsions are the rigid behaviours and routines the sufferer needs to carry out repeatedly, and not doing them can cause great anxiety and distress. A diagnosis of OCD requires a presence of obsessions and/or compulsions which are carried out daily and majorly interferes with the daily life of the sufferer (takes up over one hour of their daily routine), so keeping your room tidy does not warrant a diagnosis of OCD.

For me, my OCD varies depending on my surroundings. Usually my obsessions are regarding germs and bacteria, which is why I spend a lot of time cleaning (not nearly as much as I used to thank goodness) but I also have a lot of intrusive thoughts regarding harm coming to family and friends, and I often imagine myself getting attacked when walking alone, or getting hit by a car or bus when crossing the road. I also sometimes feel like I am not in control of myself, so I fear that I will be the one to cause harm to my family and friends, or that I will accidentally walk out onto a busy road without realising. I like to plan and make lists and I get extremely upset when these change, to the point of tears at times. When I've been drinking, my OCD increases a lot and I tend to do a lot of counting. I've counted people, tiles and on my fingers in the middle of a nightclub, which is very distressing and usually ends in a panic attack. I've also been convinced that I had murdered someone before and I had to draw out a diagram of the people I had been talking to in the group to make sure that they were all there and that I hadn't actually killed someone. There is a lot of fear surrounding OCD and I am scared that I am in danger in some way. I can feel absolutely insane at times.

There are also other illnesses closely linked with OCD, including Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Hoarding, and skin picking and hair pulling. I have Trichotillomania, which is hair pulling, which I've also written about here. 

''Obsessive compulsive disorder statistics from the world global health organization indicate OCD is ranked ten among all diseases as a cause for disability. This includes physical diseases.'' (Saxena 2009)

OCD is a tricky thing to treat. I've been to a lot of counselors and gone through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, but mainly only for my Anxiety, so for me, OCD often takes a back burner. However, I have been able to learn to manage it in some ways by exposing myself to situations that make me uncomfortable and that trigger my obsessions and then attempting to not carry out my compulsions. It's difficult and can be extremely upsetting, but it is something that works for me. I like to wait it out until I get through an episode so I feel like I am in control of it. Each time it gets a little easier and I am on the right path to being unphased by my obsessions and compulsions. 

That was such a long post. I'm so sorry for literally being MIA and coming back with this monster of information on such a touchy subject. I really hope this post was more informative than my last one and that you can take something away from it. If you are struggling with OCD, just know that it does get easier, just keep working towards getting better and don't give in. You can always send me a DM on Twitter or Instagram if you've got any questions or if you just want someone to talk to when you're having a hard time. 




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During my blog rebrand I had mentioned that I wanted to talk less about mental health and focus more on fashion and beauty as that is what I started out writing about. I felt as though I had lost myself along the way and, although I found writing about mental health helped me, and others who had messaged me telling me that my honesty and openness encouraged them to speak out, I found myself writing about mental health for the sake of it and it was almost making me feel worse. After a summer at home, with little blogging done and a lot of work, I'm feeling pretty good. I'm shocked. I really wanted to write this post as I've documented my mental health journey on my blog from the beginning and it wouldn't feel right to just share the lows. Sharing my high points is important to prove that things can get better and even in the darkest of times, it's important to remember that things can do a complete U-turn.


Although I'm feeling good, I still have my off days. This isn't a post to shout 'I'M CURED, I'M BETTER', because that's not the case, it's more of an update about how I'm dealing with my anxiety (and OCD, although it has been behaving very well lately!). 

From the beginning of my journey to now I feel like a completely different person. When I was first struggling with anxiety, I never went out and I ended up not going to school because it was easier and less stressful for me. College was next to impossible to attend and I had panic attacks on the regular. It was exhausting. I found it hard to sleep and I was living on four hours sleep a night, if I was lucky. 


Nowadays, I'm sleeping soundly almost throughout the night. I'm up on about seven hours sleep per night. My panic attacks are few and far between and I am excited about doing things out of my comfort zone. For example, I went to visit my friend Laura in Louth last week and I travelled on the bus ON MY OWN and although it was stressful, I can't believe I actually did it. 

The thing with anxiety is you can become quite dependent on people to be there for you. I used to feel like I needed my mother to (metaphorically, sometimes literally) hold my hand everywhere I went and relying on my mam so much is not exactly what I wanted to be doing at 18/19 years old. Now I feel like I can walk beside her, instead of hiding behind her. 

All that being said, I can't say I'm 'fixed'. I don't think that's possible because I'm so used to living with this now. I will always feel a pang of fear when I look at my watch and realise I'm only ten minutes early for my bus, not fifteen. I will always need to take a few moments in a night club to gather myself and talk myself out of a panic attack. I will always avoid phone calls as much as I possibly can and I will always over think every single word of a blog post I'm writing. And, that's okay because I feel as though all these things are no longer controlling my life.



This could all change in another few weeks, and I could be back to writing 'I'm having a really hard time and here's why' but for now I am getting on with things and it feels so good not to feel trapped by my mental illness.

Outfit details:

Bag | Sold out but similar here

Thank you for reading, I hope you're all well and please follow me on Instagram (lol) 'cos I'm putting in a lot of effort recently lol. Thank you. 

Much luv,
Aileen x


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Breakups are hard. I can talk about just about anything on my blog and in life in general (I've often been told I have no filter), but when it comes to matters of the heart, I tend to take a more 'ignore it 'til it goes away' kind of approach. This is pretty easy for me when I'm around other people and I tend to get over things quicker than most, but when I'm on my own I can't help but think of all the what ifs and should haves - Should I have made more of an effort? Did I give it enough of a chance - you get the gist. These thoughts are almost impossible to ignore and you'll know this if you've gone through a breakup. It's like your brain just doesn't shut off and you can't help but think of all the other outcomes, had you taken a different path.



The other night I came across this little story and it inspired me to write this post because I found it so helpful and I just had to share it.

Once Buddha was traveling with a few of his followers. While they were passing a lake, Buddha told one of his disciples, "I am thirsty. Do get me some water from the lake."

The disciple walked up to the lake. At that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy and turbid.

The disciple thought, "How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink?" So he came back and told Buddha, "The water in there is very muddy. I don't think it is fit to drink."

After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake. The disciple went back, and found that the water was still muddy. He returned and informed Buddha about the same.

After sometime, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back.
This time, the disciple found the mud had settled down, and the water was clean and clear. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.

Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said, "See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be, and the mud settled down on its own, and you have clear water."

I've honestly read this story a hundred times in the past few days because it makes so much sense. You can't expect your mind to settle without giving it time. There is nothing you can do to speed up the process, all you can do it just give it the time it needs to heal. 

You could drive yourself up the walls thinking about everything and wishing to feel better again but the only way you can truly move on is to take time, look after yourself and wait it out. My mother always reminds me 'Time heals all wounds' and that is something I always try to remember in times like these. 
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It's finally September and that means colder mornings and darker evenings. For me, the year just gets better from here. I love everything from Halloween and Christmas, to getting cosy beside the fire, to the candles and I love the warmer tones in make up. Berry shades are my thing.

Along with the change in make up, I'm obsessed with AW fashion. Apart from being able to not wear tights, summer fashion is not my forte. I love wearing jumpers and coats, scarves and boots. I love layering. I was browsing through some online shops and came across some really lovely coats and jackets which would be perfect for when the weather starts getting colder.

I love long coats and this grey New Look Brushed Coat is gorgeous. I have one quite similar already which I have worn to death over the past couple of years so I think it's time to invest in a new one. I also love this Missguided Pink Trucker Jacket. It looks so cosy and everything about it is so me - it would fit in perfectly with my wardrobe. I've also been on the look out for a black denim jacket so when I came across this Nasty Gal Distressed Jacket I was delighted. I love anything oversized and you could literally wear this jacket all year long.

I am in love with this ASOS Cord Jacket! Like the Nasty Gal jacket, this could be worn all year long. Finally, these two suede coats are a dream. This Missguided Oversized Jacket is definitely one of my favourites from the bunch and this Suede Trench Coat is so stunning and would look amazing dressed up or dressed down.


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It feels like a l i f e t i m e since I've written a beauty post because I've been working and I only really get to do my make up on my days off and after spending actual time and effort on my makeup during my two days off I realised I  have a number products that I've actually been loving and I wanted to share them with you. I also have a lot of skincare bits that I want to share so I'm definitely down for writing my skincare routine at some stage AKA probably in about 3 months 'cos I'm the worst blogger ever.

Anyway, here are some of the products I've really been enjoying recently. I also need to make a note to start doing these types of posts again because they are probably one of my fav types of posts to read. Whadoya think?



Tarteiest Pro Amazonian Clay Palette
I talked about this palette in my Sephora Haul a few weeks ago, and since then I've found myself reaching only for this palette. The shades are so me - burnt orange, nudes, pink light browns - and they are ALL MATTE apart from four shimmers, which I also love. The actual palette smells so good, and the mirror is really high quality. I've swatched a few of my fav shades for you (I mean, look at that gold shimmer, literal perfection).


Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer
I remember writing about this concealer when I first started my blog because I was obsessed with it, but I never repurchased it until recently and I'm so mad at myself because I love it again. Recently I've been having a hard time with concealer because no matter how much I set under my eyes they all crack (AKA I'm getting OLD) but this concealer is pretty darn good at hiding those little wrinkles!

Catrice Glam & Doll Ultra Mascara
Before I got this mascara I had been using They're Real and Catrice Glam & Doll and I loved them both but they both ran out almost at the same time (why does that always happen?) so I just picked up another one by Catrice. I have pretty good lashes, and with the help of my Sephora eyelash curler which I also mentioned in my Sephora Haul, pretty much any mascara does the job for me. I wanted to mention this mascara anyway, though because I find that it's a pretty solid dupe for They're Real. It gives really good volume and length and I find that the formula is pretty much identical, for a fraction of the price.


NYX Lid Lingerie Eye Tint*
I got three of the Lid Lingerie Eye Tints through PR (I got one months ago and never used it but I got two different shades a few weeks ago). I knew I would love them because I had actually used the first one before and I remember it being really blendable, it just wasn't a colour I would go for, but the shades I got this time round are so much more 'me'. I got Whimsy and Nude To Me which are really wearable colours and shades that I would reach for frequently. Like I said, they are really blendable, and are fab on their own as well as underneath another shimmer (I like to put Glam from the Tarte palette over the shade Nude To Me) They're also amazing for on the go use because you can literally blend them across your lid with a bit of mascara and you have a really pretty eye look, like I did here.


Let me know if any of these products are among your favourites, or if you have any other recommendations. I'd love to hear from you!

Love Aileen x

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Before I even begin this blog post I want to apologise for the horrendously terrible photo that is along with this post. I have a love/hate relationship with this top, and I have an awfully bad habit of just not doing my hair ever. I really can't decide if I hate this photo, or if I'm just being critical of myself? I don't know but I'm using them anyway because I don't have to always get it right. 

Which brings me to the (kind of) point of this post. 

For the past few weeks I've sat down in front of my laptop screen, ready to write a blog post but the words don't seem to come out anymore. I start a post, and save it as a draft, and then I start another post and save that one as a draft too and I continue this cycle until I have numerous posts saved as drafts, but none actually worthy of publishing. It's annoying because I feel so motivated to write. I finally love my blog again, after hating it for almost a full year. After my rebrand, I was so excited and completely obsessed with sitting on my blog home page and just looking at it, something I've never done before. I always used to cringe at my blog and I would never ever read over posts because I was embarrassed by my own writing, but now I'm beyond happy with my blog layout, my content (the very little amount that I've done since my rebrand) and even my photos. So, why can't I write? 

I'm putting it down to pressure. I've finally got my motivation back, and I want so badly to write and create content. Every time I sit down to write there's a voice in my head telling me that it has to be perfect which forces me to overthink every word I write. My favourite posts I've ever written are the ones that I sit down and whack out, with little to no planning but, now I feel like I want everything I write to be 100% perfect and I'm over planning. I'm making lists and planning and planning and planning and when I finally sit down to write the post, the initial inspiration is gone and it feels like a chore. 

I never started out to be perfect. I just wanted to write and share ideas and do something that I loved. I know I'm not a fantastic writer and I don't have a massive influence over people, like some of my favourite bloggers have, and I need to remind myself that that doesn't matter. I like doing this, and anything that comes after that is just a bonus. 

I will eventually get around to finishing some of the blog posts I've drafted and I am really excited for you to read them, but for now I'm going to try to be more spontaneous and a little kinder to myself when it comes to blogging. 

Lots of love,
Aileen xo

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