Who doesn’t love a good rant?  To this day the words of news anchor Howard Beale (Peter Finch) resonate from the 1976 Oscar winning movie Network. And for make-up artist Ciara Allen, one of the greatest lessons of 2016 has been to show some grit if you’re cross and let it out! Here she tells Exquisite.ie what she’s learned over the past 12 months…



I always had this idea that anger was a ‘bad’ emotion. Now anger in excessive amounts is bad of course but I’m talking more about a controlled anger in a situation where it is very very very necessary. In the past I would always hold my tongue, not retaliate and always be the bigger person. Now I still do that alot of the time but sometimes I have to speak up. 2016 taught me to trust my gut and if I thought something wasn’t right in a situation, I’d say something.

Anger doesn’t have to include bad language and aggression but instead you can just say exactly what is on your mind whilst keeping your cool.


About two weeks ago, I stood up to someone who was, as we say in Ireland ‘totally taking the piss’, and I sensed that they were starting to take my kindness as a weakness. Big mistake so I spoke up. It felt incredible. I stood up for myself and for what I knew to be right and the other person backed straight down. No bad language, no violence just words and I still feel epic thinking about it.



2016 saw me having surgery to remove a benign tumour from my thyroid. I had been on the waiting list for surgery for a year and a half and was relieved to finally get it over with. As well as the growth, they removed half of my thyroid and thankfully I’ve been doing great ever since. I was so scared before the surgery but it genuinely was totally fine. I was only in hospital for one night, rested at home for four days and then was back to work. The importance of our health is only really on our minds when there is something wrong with it. We all need to take care of ourselves because you never quite know what is going to happen next.


It’s very easy to lose sight of the things that really matter in life. We can focus on the trivial things like buying a new pair of shoes, bitching about our jobs and friends or what colour to paint the sitting room but at the end of the day, none of these things are really important.
What matters is that we appreciate each day because you never know how much longer you have left. The only guarantee in life is that one day it will end so make the most of it while you can.



2016 saw me grow in so many ways and a big part of that was taking proper care of my mental health and working on lowering my anxiety. I think the majority of people have gone through something traumatic in their lifetime but it can take a number of years to go by before you have properly dealt with it.

Personally I left it 15 years before taking any action but this year I finally confronted by demons head on and while it was hard, I feel like a different person now.

So many of us carry around so much shame and guilt with us every single day about something that has happened in the past. The fact that I waited 15years before getting help is both a testament of my strength and a clear indication of my denial. So whatever you need, give yourself the care and time you deserve. You can’t save the world if you’re broken inside so you have to take care of yourself first.



I think it’s really important for us to all look out for one another. Sometimes we can see life as a competition which is incredibly sad. We should be happy for others when they do well and vice versa. Everyone is going through something in their lives whether it be a bad relationship, mental health issues or family problems so be kind. Even just offering to meet someone for a coffee and a chat can make a huge difference. Also why not find a charity to volunteer with. So many of us always threaten to do it but very few actually do. No matter how hard you think your life is, there will always be someone much worse off.


Another big part of 2016 is the fact that I now feel more confident and happy in who I am than ever and I think it shows. I’ve spent a lifetime being uncomfortable in my own skin and constantly doubting myself but now I feel so much better. I feel complete like all the pieces have finally fit right into place. Powerlifting has played a huge part in that feeling of inner strength. With strength, there is a feeling of being very independent and capable and they are two things I always want to be.


The past has the power to ruin your entire life so please don’t let it. Whatever happened five, 10, 15 or 20 years ago shouldn’t dictate what the rest of your life is like. Know that the past is the past and all that matters is the future. Whatever happened in the past cannot be changed so don’t waste your time worrying about it. The past can be a cruel creature but the future is full of amazing opportunities so keep your eyes ahead.


Social media is an amazing invention in most ways but the way we now compare ourselves to each other is completely toxic. The life that you see people lead on social media isn’t always real. Pictures can be edited, situations can be staged and sponsored posts now play a huge part on sites like Instagram. So remember that what you see online isn’t always real.
Instead of following people who make you feel bad about yourself, why not follow people who make you happy or who make you laugh? Alternatively just follow all the cat profiles and you’ll never feel bad even again.


So the moral of the story is no one leads a perfect life.
We all have our own struggles that we carry around with us and even though we forget it sometimes, we’re all bleedin’ deadly!

Find Ciara on Instagram: @ciaraallenmakeupartist and her website: www.ciaraallenmakeup.com