Claire Mac

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Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Life | A Few Daft Goals For 2018

Last year I discussed how I don't really like the term 'New Years Resolution' - To me it just screams pressure! And that's not what I'm about! I'm the type of gal who likes bite size pieces, I'll break things down to make them much more achievable. I'm also the type of gal who writes a to do list, with things on that I've already completed, just because it gives me the extra boost to go ahead and grab my day by the balls!

With this in mind, I've got a few little goals that I'd like to achieve in 2018 which are as follows.
Reading.
I spoke earlier on in the year about taking time out for myself, practicing self care and basically chilling the eff out. For me one of the easiest and best ways to do this is by picking up a good book! I love reading thrillers and at the moment am reading Gillian Flynns' Sharp Objects. Her books are uncomfortable, you could even say twisted, but by golly, her stories are gripping! She's bloody brilliant!

Learn more recipes.
I'm terrible for cooking the same types of food, week in week out. I need some serious inspiration when it comes to meal prep. Jamie Olivers' 5 ingredients book has been on my to buy list for such a long time! I love how simple the concept it behind it, and I think it's something I could very much get on board with! If any of you have any cook book recommendations, feel free to throw them my way!

Moisturise.
Nobody likes winter when it comes to keeping your skin hydrated & I for one have definitely felt the cold over the last few months. I've gotten into a better routine when it comes to facial skincare, however when it comes to moisturising my body & applying a lip balm, I'm some what forgetful. I'm wanting to get into the routine of applying a lip balm every evening before I go to sleep as well as doing a full body butter sesh when I get out of the shower. Two daft little things I think will keep me feeling silky smooth throughout 2018.

Don't stress about the wedding.
We've been planning our wedding for over a year and a half now & throughout the whole process Dan and I have been very laid back about it all. However now we only have four months to go, it's all starting to feel real! It's obviously been 'just around the corner' for quite a while now, but now we're on the last stretch it's sunk in that we're actually getting married. Eeek! Here's hoping for a chilled four months!
Stay in touch.
And I don't mean over the internet. I'm talking meeting up with friends, going on days out with family, even just calling people on the phone. I think this kind of sits hand in hand with taking time out for myself, in the sense that I shouldn't forget about taking time out for other people, especially those I hold closest.

Brush my teeth.
Okay... So this isn't totally gross, more like mediocre gross. Ha! One thing I'm a devil for is crawling straight into bed on a night, getting all cosy and then not getting back out to brush my teeth. I've talked about this with various people, and it seems very 50/50, some people do and some people don't brush their nashers on a night time. This year I'm wanting to get in the routine of prioritising my teeth over my big warm cosy bed.

Insta story.
My snapchat account has absolutely died a death, gosh I can't even remember the username or password, but something I want to get more involved in is updating my Insta stories. I think regularly uploading on there is a great way to get to know the person behind the blog, I want you to see Claire, the gal who's actually quite boring, the one who loves her dog and spends way too much money on coffee. That's who I am.

So as daft and as silly as they are there's seven things I'd like to practice through 2018. Have you made any resolutions this year? What would you like to achieve?

Claire.X
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Sunday, 31 December 2017

Life | I'm getting excited by blogging again!

There I said it! After my last post I was a little unsure as to whether I'd be back, grazing my presence on this little slice of Internet. But here I am. How long for, I'm not sure. But as of right now, I'm regaining my blogging mojo!
I've always had quite an addictive personality. If I'm into something, I'm really into it... All for about a month or so before it usually fizzes out, but blogging has been a somewhat constant of mine for the last three years. That was unfortunately up until November last year when that all came to a halt. It was inevitable & I could see it happening months before it eventually did, but I'd fallen out of love with blogging. My time was, and still is, very precious to me, and at that point I couldn't 100% commit to clairemac, I had so much going on, work wise & personally that unfortunately, and I hate to say it, my blog got put on the back burner.

I've spent the last few months evaluating what's important to me, and to cut a long story short... I'm creeping back into the blogging world.
I'm going back to basics. Old school readers of mine will now this blog started life as xclaireabella, where I'd post as and when I liked, nothing was scheduled, i didn't have any form of action plan and the bigger picture was never a thing for me. Blogging was a hobby, something I'd do for fun in my spare time, something I enjoyed doing & something I'm hopefully going to continue doing. During the previous three years my knowledge of the internet & bloggersphere has grown tenfold, I'm so much less naive about what goes on behind the scenes, how influencers grow, the powers of social media and how to achieve the 'perfect aesthetic'. However unfortunately with this knowledge comes pressure. 

And at the time this pressure wasn't something I was dealing with. I think it's the increase of pressure work wise that's put even more strain on my blog & it made me feel of clairemac as a bit of a chore. I was coming home after working a full day, being up at 5:30am, and sitting down to my laptop was the last thing I wanted to do. I'd find myself pooped after getting in, walking the dog, cooking tea & cleaning the house, I just wanted to slump in front of the TV with a bag of salt & vinegar crisps and recuperate before doing it all again the next day. Don't get me wrong, this is a totally okay thing to do, but for me & my blog it started to frustrate me & I'd almost be resenting clairemac.co.uk
So how did I regain my blogging mojo?

Self Care. Now I know these words have been thrown around a lot lately, but for me it's something that's massively helped. Self care for me will mean something different to what it means to you & for Tom, Dick & Harry down the street, and I think figuring out what works best for you can be as difficult as it is worthwhile. For me it's reading, taking even an hour out of the day to sit in the comfy armchair under the lamp, curled up under a duvet with a good book, a cup of tea and a digestive biscuit of seven. Taking the time to be transported to another reality through reading has been a Godsend to me

Letting Go. I often find myself slipping and prioritising the meaningless over the more important tasks in life, just because it'll benefit somebody else. I've given up feeling pressured when it comes to silly little tasks & although I've found it difficult, and it's one of those 'easier said than done' things, I think I'm on the road to success. I'm forever championing others and saying 'you do you gal', but it's now time to take my own advice and let go of the things that are dragging me down.

Eating & Drinking properly. Writing this sounds absolutely ridiuculous. Even in my head I'm thinking how can this one simple thing make you fall back in love with blogging, but it's all to do with having the energy to do so. I'm never going to get 8 hours of sleep, but one way I can give my body energy is but putting the right amount and the right types of fuel in. I'm no longer surviving off coffee, I have one on a morning (lord I could never give it up) and then I'm drinking water & fueling my body with a balanced diet throughout the day & I can 1000000% feel the difference. It's crazy how much of a difference it's made.

So here I am... I'm just a girl standing in front of a blog asking it to love her. I don't know when I'm going to post next, I don't know what I'm going to be posting about. I don't have any pressures when it comes to clairemac & that's the way I'd like to keep it!

There's so much I don't know for 2018, but what I do know, is it's going to be my best year yet!

Claire. X

PS. Happy new year everyone! I hope this is going to be your year too!



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Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Life | Am I Falling Out Of Love With Blogging?

Am I falling out of love with blogging? This is a question I’ve been asking myself for quite some time now, in fact it’s probably longer than I’d care to admit.

I started this blog just over three years ago now. I’m not entirely sure why because I didn’t know anything about the blogosphere, anything about social media, coding a website or promoting myself. I had absolutely no clue on what I was getting myself into. No idea actually how much time it takes keeping a blog alive. I’m as surprised as you are that this slice of internet is still going. Well, kind of...
I’m struggling.

Truth is I’m a very all or nothing person in all aspects of my life. If I’m passionate about something I’ll give it my absolute all, I’m there at daft o’clock in the morning, full guns blazing and ready to go. However if I’m not passionate, then you’ll bloody well know about it & even on a good day I’ll give it minimal effort. One of my multiple flaws, you could say, but I’ve always been the same for as long as I remember. It’s just the way I am - I’m very decisive, I know what floats my boat & equally what doesn’t.

Part of my loves this little blog of mine. And part of me wants to give up on it. I’ve got a devil on my left shoulder, and an angel on the right, and for once I’m torn!
Am I too old for blogging? I hate to say it, but this question is taking up the majority of my head space right now. Am I too old for blogging? Should I be doing something else with my life right now? See the thing is, are you ready for a laugh... I’m 27, I’m not old, not even in the slightest… Why is my brain even thinking like this? If someone else was posing this question to me, somebody older than me, I’d scoff in their face. My reaction would be why the hell do you think you’re too old to blog? You're never too old to do anything! If you want to blog, it doesn’t matter whether you’re 18, 38, or even 58… If you want to do something & put yourself out there, go ahead and bloody well do it. So does my brain keep putting me down?

It’s confidence. Something I’ve always struggled with… Am I good enough? Who’s really reading my blog? Are they even interested in what I have to say? All these thoughts keep swimming around in my mind & I'm not entirely sure why. Thinking about it, I want to switch up what I'm discussing on my blog. I don’t want to be chatting about the latest product releases anymore, I want to have more impact with what my blog. I want to get people thinking. And primarily, I want to get myself thinking!
I want to push myself! I want to get passionate about my blog again, and with that I need a challenge.

I want to create quality content. Quality over quantity. Which is why I wont be doing blogmas this year or why I wont be posting three times a week anymore. I need to take baby steps. I need to take time out, to regain inspiration & restart my blog as I mean to go on, because even though I’m torn with what to do with my blog, I know it’s something I’ll snap out of. This is a bump in the road for me. I’m going to fall back in love with blogging & I’m going to make this place a success…. Just watch me!

Have you ever fallen out of love with blogging? Have you ever thought about walking away from it all?


Claire. X

Have you read my previous posts?
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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Life | A Frightful Night In With Homesense

I'm divided when it comes to how I spend my evenings; Half of me wants to be productive, go out walking with the pooch or meet up with friends for dinner and cocktails and the other half wants to crawl into my pyjamas as soon as I get in from work, snuggle down with a good book and enjoy copious amounts of tea.
With Halloween just around the corner I'm exploring the latter, because let's face it as much as I love the idea of getting dresses up and enjoying a spooky night on the tiles, I quite simply cannot be faffed... But just because I'm not getting dressed up, it doesn't mean I can't get involved in a bit of Halloween camaraderie.
I'm big on accessories when it comes to interiors because I think they're a really quick and easy way to make a statement in the home. I love a good seasonal addition and think Homesense is the perfect place for quirky & unusual interior pieces, so indulged just a wee bit when i popped into my local store last week.
There are so many Halloween based pieces in Homesense right now, you name it they've got it. Even the things you don't think you need they've got! They're that good! Ultimately that's what I love about Homesense is that you can go in with absolutely no idea what you want & come out feeling totally inspired with a bag full (or seven) of amazing, not to mention bargain pieces.
My cosy night in begins as any good night in should, and that's with junk food! As soon as I saw the pumpkin bowl in Homesense I knew it's be absolutely perfect for evening snacks. I've added Butterkist toffee popcorn into mine because it's the best thing since sliced bread, but this bowl is big enough to put anything in. In fact it'd be perfect for a Halloween punch! Unfortunately instead of punch I'm drinking cranberry juice and lemonade, but thankfully I'm drinking from my new Homesense stemless wine glasses which are an absolute bloggers dream. Gold leaf... Check! Witty quotes... Check! Sleek lines...Check! Perfect! And lastly a trip to Homesense wouldn't be complete without picking up a new candle, so of course with Halloween being just around the corner I opted for the Pecksniffs pecan & pumpkin seed scent which for me has just the right amount of pumpkinness, it's subtle, but makes the home smell absolutely amazing.
Homesense should be top of the list for everyone when it comes to picking up seasonal accessories. I've picked up so many different odds and ends over the years that all take pride of place in my home and even though we haven't quite made it to Halloween yet, I'm already excited to shop for my Christmas goodies.

What halloween plans do you have? Are you a dressed up & drinks out kinda person or are you cosying up with some snacks and a spooky film like me? 

Claire.X

Have you read my previous posts?
Beauty | Five favourite mascaras.
Life | An honest day in the life...
Beauty | 'That' Fenty beauty foundation

Items in this blog post have been bought using a Homesense gift card provided by PR.
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Saturday, 30 September 2017

Beauty | Five Favourite Mascaras

I always thought it was lipsticks I had an obsession with... And don't get me wrong I definitely do have an obsession with them, but it's mascara's I've been buying by the shed load recently. Mascara after mascara after mascara... They've been going straight in my basket!

Truth is I'm on the lookout for the perfect waterproof mascara to wear on my wedding day, something that's not going to budge while I'm bawling my eyes out & something that makes my lashes look as long and as fluttery as humanly possible. Along my journey I've picked up both waterproof & non waterproof mascaras, because y'know you can never have too many right? And today I'm talking through my favourite five.
Too Faced Better Than Sex
Let's start with the only waterproof mascara of the bunch & the one I was probably most excited about! Firstly let me tell you, the hype is real!.. There's no wonder this mascara is one of the best selling mascaras of our time, it's truly amazing! The formula separates lashes perfectly which is what I love most about this mascara. It's easily buildable too so if I want a more natural look or a heavier more full face of makeup, this product works amazingly well for both.
Loreal Miss Hippie
This is my second pot of Miss Hippie. It's not waterproof so unfortunately won't be the wedding mascara of choice, but this mascara honestly makes my lashes the flutteriest of all mascaras. The brush is super fluffy which is what I believe makes my lashes super feathery. I'd buy this mascara time and time again, and the fact it's mega affordable makes it even better! Writing this is urging me to go out and buy the waterproof version... That could be the one!
 Loreal Miss Baby Roll
Baby Roll's brush is what sets it aside from everything else in today's selection. The plastic wand has bristles which spiral around its head making sure each individual lash is coated and curled. The curl created from Baby Roll lasts for such a long time too, I think it's a fab little mascara and one I reach for time and time again.

Loreal Telescopic
I started buying this mascara when I was a teenager, which if you didn't know is quite a long time ago. For me this is the perfect layering mascara, I love having this as a second coat as it seems to rectify absolutely anything. The plastic wand resembles a miniature comb which brushes through the lashes perfectly. There's a reason this mascara has been on the shelves for such a long time... It's bloody brilliant!
Loreal Paradise
A relatively new mascara to my collection is the latest addition from Loreal. Seems a lot of my favourite mascaras are from Loreal doesn't it? Eeek! It's quite similar to the Miss Hippie mascara in the sense that it leaves my lashes volumised and fluttery but it's much more light weight and natural looking than the previous.

As you can see I love all five of these mascaras for quite different reasons. I chop and change day by day depending on what I'm fancying and what makeup look I'm trying to achieve.

Have you tried any of these mascaras before? What are your favourites?

Claire | X

Have you read my previous posts?
Life | An honest day in the life...
Beauty | That Fenty Beauty Foundation
Beauty | Fuss free skincare with Nivea
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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Life | An honest day in the life...

When it comes to our blogs and social media platforms we all know we only put out there what we're prepare for people to see. For some its (quite literally) warts and all, but for most, it's the best representation of ourselves... And that's totally okay. I'd much rather show you an image of my fancy schmancy meal a new pop up restaurant in town than I would the Big Mac & fries I've just scoffed on my dinner break. I suppose it's the way the world works now.

Something that I can't help but get peed off with & find myself actively avoiding are 'uber perfect life' routine videos you see circling Youtube. Morning routines, evening routines, winter routines, you name it, I've seen it & I'm not buying it! I get it!... I really do, but if you're trying to convince me you wake up bright eyes & bushy tailed at 6.00am, make yourself insta-worthy avocado on toast for breakfast & have time to use all of Lush products you own during your morning bath, then you've got another thing coming. Aint nobody got time for that!

Today I'm being totally honest with you as I take you through an honest Monday in the life of Claire Mac.

06.15am | My first alarm goes off, and as I'm still trying to catch up on sleep from about three days ago so I instantly hit snooze! Hell to the no 06.15am!
06.20am | Second snooze. There's no way I'm getting out of bed at this time.
06.30am | My third alarm goes off & I pull myself out of my cosy warm sheets & walk out into the Arctic like temperatures that is my house. (Exaggerate much?)
06.40am | Time to polish a turd & make this face look half sort of decent. Thank goodness for my office job meaning I don't have to be out in public. Concealer is my best friend!
07.00am | Breakfast time. Not avocado on toast, oh no! Today we're having knock off coco pops.
07.30am | The dreaded drive to work. The time I treasure before the madness starts.
08.00am | I start work. Catching up  on what I've missed over the weekend. It's excessive, it's a pain in the ass, but it's got to be done.
10.00am | Hunger starts - Effing hell Claire, you've only been at work for two hours.
11.00am | Elevensies is a thing right?
12.30pm | By this time I'm a ravenous beast! I really need to get myself some food. I'm 'trying' to be healthy so I'm off for an M&S salad & takeout coffee.
01.30pm | Lunch is over. Say goodbye to the quickest hour of the day.
2.00pm | Tiredness is kicking in now... Should really have got two takeout coffees.
03.00pm | Countdown begins. This is where I usually start clock watching, dreaming of home time.
04.30pm | Cannot come quick enough. It's time to get out of work. There's literal steam coming off my feet right now.
05.00pm | Time for tea. Sometimes it's home made spaghetti bolognase, sometimes it frozen garlic bread and chips. I literally have no in between! Dan gets what he's given! Ha.
05.45pm | By this time Willow is gazing at me longingly & I can tell by her eyes shes saying 'please take me out mumy'... Walking boots are on, so off we go, come rain or shine. Yay! *insert eye roll here*
06.30pm | Time to get cracking with the blog.
07.00pm | #BDIB time. I love catching up with the girls over on my twitter chat. I'm making much more of an effort now joining in when others are hosting & it's making my Mondays so much more exciting.
08.00pm | Get the kettle on lass. Time for what cold be the 8th brew of the day.
08.30pm | My laptop gets turned off. I'm very aware that because of blogging I neglect Dan a little bit so I try my very best to switch off on an evening... That doesn't mean I don't have my phone in my hand. Eeek!
08.45pm | Bath time! I'm an absolute sucker for a good bath. It's my ultimate chill out time. I sink into the waters, pop my fave youtubers on on my phone & spend the next half an hour wallowing.
10.30pm | I've felt tired for at least the last hour, but feel only now is an acceptable time to go peeps.

Then it's time to do it all again the next day. I'm sure there are plenty more people in the same situation as me but I feel like looking at my timeline throughout my day I can cut myself a little slack when it comes to my blog. I can be quite harsh on myself but looking at my day written down I actually only spend a couple of hours each day on ClaireMac and to be fair, I think I'm doing a pretty okay job at it.

And as you can see I lead a pretty boring life & I'm sure plenty of you guys do too... And that's awesome! I'd love to see an honest day in your lives.

Claire. X


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Saturday, 16 September 2017

Beauty | 'That' Fenty Beauty Foundation

Fenty Beauty is literally everywhere right now! And granted, this is probably the hundredth blog post you've probably read about the Pro Filt'r foundation from Rihanna's powerhouse of a beauty brand, but I couldn't not feature this slick tube of deliciousness on my blog.
It was the buzz around Fenty Beauty's social media coverage which first attracted me to the brand. Inparticularly the impact it had on women  even before the launch, if you've seen the video's and imagery circling Fenty Beauty's social platforms then you'll know! Rihanna's mantra for the brand is that women everywhere should be included, which I hold my hands up to and say 'amen sister!' Too flipping right we should!
With forty foundation shades to her brand, Rihanna really is paving the way for the beauty industry - I think we're going to see lots more brands from now on creating much paler and much darker foundation shades, so no one is left behind (I can't help but think of the Titanic as I write that).
I love the solidarity and inclusivness which comes from Fenty Beauty however a little part of me can't help thinking why this couldn't have been done sooner - None the less Bravo to Rihanna for being a total #GirlBoss & showing us all how it should be done!
 After seeing some of my fave Leeds Bloggers being invited down to the opening at Harvey Nichols (at 7am might I add - Eeek) and getting an insight into the fabulousness that is the Fenty Beauty brand, I knew I had to get myself there as soon as humanly possible.
 There were a few things that had caught my eye such as the killawatt highlighter and the match stix sets, but I knew almost instantly the best place to start with Fenty Beauty was with their renowned Pro Filt'r soft matte longwear foundaton.
I was matched to the shade 150 neutral, which fits and suits my skint one perfectly! At the time we tried two other shades, but it was clear right from the get go that 150 would be the one for me.
I've been using my Real Techniques miracle complexion sponge to buff the liquid foundation into my skin & find it provides me with both a full and even coverage. I'm enjoying that this is more of a full coverage foundation which if I'm honest isn't something I'd usually go for, I prefer something a little less heavy but surprisingly and thankfully for me, my skin still looks like my actual skin with this foundation. I'm always worried that fuller foundations will leave me looking doll like & without much definition to my face, but I have absolutely no worries with that when it comes to this foundation.
It's very long lasting too, which it claims to be - I can quite happily apply the Pro Filt'r foundation before work at 6am and it'll still be looking perfectly fine when I'm back home on an evening. I have quite normal to dry skin which with a drying mattifying foundation can often be a worry, but again with this it's surprised me. I'm not 100% on how it would cope with oily skin, but for me it's an absolute dream!
My only criticism, and it's not really a criticism, is that the packaging doesn't blow me away. I quite like the frosted glass, but I think the white plastic lid cheapens it a bit. But it's absolutely true what they say - It's what's inside that counts! And I'm more than happy with what's inside.
This foundation is an amazing all rounder & one I believe I'm going to get so much use out of especially as we hit the colder months & I need something with a higher coverage. Bravo Rihanna, bravo!

Have you tried anything from the Fenty Beauty range? What do you think to Riri's 40 shade foundation range?

Claire. X

Have you read any of my previous posts...
Beauty | Fuss Free Skincare With Nivea
Wedding | Halfway There
Beauty | Five Summer Favourites
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