Claire Mac

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Sunday, 18 March 2018

FASHION | Feeling Body Confident With Tobi

In my previous blog post finding fun in fashion I spoke about how I felt like I'd lost my way when it comes to clothing, and was rather uninspired with my wardrobe. One of my goals to spice up my wardrobe was to experiment more with clothing, step outside my comfort zone and explore what the big old world of retail has to offer.

And for me, that's when Tobi stepped in. The LA based online retail destination claim to fuse together West Coast style with a laid back attitude, which I thought sounded totally dreamy. After perusing the website I didn't personally catch any of the West Coast vibes, but what I did notice straight away was the absolutely huge array of different clothing styles, pieces and trends. I was blown away. I don't know about you but I quite often find myself trying to think up new online retailers, not because the others aren't making the cut, but because I want to try something different, and Tobi absolutely hit the spot!

Anyway, back to experimenting with fashion. Something I've always been wary of and steered clear of it cut out backs. Tops, Jumpers, Dresses, you name it, if it's got a cut out back, I'm not wearing it, and there's one (actually two I suppose) reason for that. My boobs! I wouldn't say I hate them, it's not that extreme, but I really really quite dislike my boobs. I have to wear a bra, otherwise it looks like there's nothing there, my chest is very much like the white cliffs of Dover.... Flat. And while that may be a godsend to some, for me it's always something that's bothered me... We always wan't what we can't have right?

Because of this I've always put those cute cut out tops back on the hangers, totally dismissed anything that doesn't allow me to wear a bra and have skirted around the idea of ever owning anything like I'm going to show you. What a terrible existence right? Well this is where it's stopping. I'm embracing what I have and don't have and experimenting with cut out backs! Eeek.

Let's get the scariest one out of the way with first shall we. There is absolutely, categorically, 100% no chance of wearing a bra with this jumpsuit, and the thought of that terrifies me. Balancing out the fear however is the fact this this jumpsuit is probably the prettiest thing in my wardrobe! I love the harness detailing across the bust which crosses over the back in the most delicate, girly way. It's without doubt the most revealing thing in my wardrobe, and it's definitely made me grow some balls wearing it, but I don't actually find it too risque when it's on. I think it's because the wide legs of the bottom half counteracts the revealing top half. If the legs were a skinny, cigarette style trouser It'd feel quite cat suit like and I don't think I'd be half as confident wearing it
If I'm honest, I actually feel amazing in this jumpsuit. Never in a million years did I think I'd be saying it, but I actually feel really good. I feel powerful, and like I've got my shit together. 
PS. I don't have my shit together!
Because of the dark rose block colour from the jumpsuit I've opted for my ever faithful nude pink clutch and a par of neutral sandals. This look would be fab for a night out having cocktails with the girls, using plenty of tit tape might I add, but I also think it'd be perfect for a more casual holiday look too. Imagine this with an over sized straw beach bag, some tassel earrings and a pair of gold sandals. Eeek! It's got me all excited for our non existent holiday just thinking about it.



Jumpsuit - Tobi*
Clutch - Miss Selfridge
Flower Crown - Ebay

Mila back tie olive jumpsuit.
Another wide leg beauty! I love the silhouette a wide leg trouser gives which is why I opted for the mila from Tobi, and in this beaut khaki shade too, I actually couldn't say no. Even though again with this I'd have to go bra-less I was much less apprehensive going in with this one because it less 'booby' than the previous. I knew I was going to feel much more confident in this one, but it was only putting it on and wearing the piece throughout the day that I feel 100% in love with it. It's such a flattering fit, sucking me in on the waist and elongating the leg with the flared trousers. I just love it! I didn't even think once about being self conscious chest wise. 
I don't think it happens very often, but I've found something in the Mila jumpsuit which makes me feel so casually confident in myself.
I've worn it here in a casual way with a basic white tee underneath, a pair of white Vans and an over sized aviator thrown over the top, however I'm planning on wearing this for a wedding next month on it's own with some gold sandals and a glitzy gold clutch. The whole point of experimenting with fashion is picking up dual purpose pieces which I feel like I've definitely achieved with this amazing jumpsuit.



Aviator - River Island
Jumpsuit - Tobi*
Tee - Primark
Bag - Primark
Shoes - Vans

Darla black shift dress.
When was the last time you saw me in a dress? I can't actually remember. And that's why I picked out this black shift dress from Tobi. I chose this style because it's quite a casual dress and if I'm going to start anywhere, I feel like this piece is the right place. The cut out dress struck me as more of a summer piece, but one that could be easily layered with knits or basic tees underneath. Again another dual purpose clothing item. Winner winner chicken dinner.
That being said, I found this piece to be the most difficult when it came to feeling body positive, especially when worn without anything underneath. I really didn't feel like a 10 out of 10 when wearing it, that was until I wore something underneath. Reason being, as well as my chest I struggle with the tops of my arms, and I think the way this dress is cut, accentuated all of my arm insecurities. However!... With my khaki basic tee on underneath, I felt ready to take on whatever the beast from the East had to throw at me!.. With my over sized camel coat on anyway!



Dress - Tobi*
Tee - River Island
Coat - Missguided
Bag - New Look
Boots - Topshop

So what have I learnt from experimenting with clothing? Well there's only one thing really, and that's to bloody well go for it! It can be daunting, scary even, but you never know if you don't try. Don't get me wrong I've not suddenly quadrupled in confidence because of these clothing items, but It's certainly opened my eyes to reinventing my wardrobe and experimenting and embracing what I've got. 

Is there any clothing styles you steer clear of?

Claire. X

The three clothing pieces from Tobi were sent to me for review purposes - All opinions are of course 100% my own.
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Monday, 12 February 2018

FASHION | Finding Fun in Fashion

If you're a long time reader of this little website of mine, you'll know it first started life as a fashion blog... But let me tell you, oh how the times have changed. Maybe it's my age, maybe it's this blog, maybe my priorities have changed, who knows?. But over the last year or so I've lost all interest in fashion... And I'm not okay with that!
Let's start at the beginning. As a teenager (I'm not prepared to tell you how long ago that was) any spare pennies I'd made we're spent on clothing, I'd be in and out of Middlesbrough town centre every other weekend and it would never be a quick trip, it was an all day job. And I loved it! Looking back now I've got no idea how I did it, even though we've moved to a busier city, the idea of spending all day in town trudging the shops fills me with dread. There's absolutely no way I could do it. But like I say, I loved it, and it was just part of my everyday life back then.

As I've grown older and started working full time I began spending my money a little more luxuriously. I'd pick quality over quantity and would find myself browsing the likes of Net-A-Porter and Selfridges. Unfortunately this period didn't last as long as I'd like... I became a home owner and before I could even blink, my disposable income was gone!

Writing this now, I feel this is where my downfall with fashion began.



Priorities changed... I could no longer afford to buy those new pair of Topshop jeans or that new knit I'd been lusting after for I don't know how long. I had to adult! Gone were the days of spending money on what I liked, instead there were days of spending money on what I needed... A roof over my head, petrol in the car, all the boring things you actually need to survive. Damn you mortgage life! So I couldn't necessarily afford to buy the latest fashions, but I could still enjoy them right?

Well yes, to some extent... But there's only so long that can last. A gals gotta have a wardrobe update every now and again right!

My love for fashion flat lined. As soon as I walked through the door after my post work dog walk I'd be upstairs, stripping down & getting changed into my pj's. I wouldn't like to admit the ratio of wearing pj's to normal clothes, just thinking about it is a scary thought. And once you get stuck in the rut of a routine like that, it's very hard to get out of... And that's where I was at the end of last year.

And here we are finding the fun in fashion.

So how did I get out of my style rut... I've got a few pointers on where to begin, where I'm at now & how it's helped me.
* Let go. The best place to start when it comes to finding the fun in fashion is basically from scratch. Get every single last piece of clothing out of your wardrobe and scatter it across the bedroom in in different piles. Tops together, trousers together, knitwear together etc etc, and the once you've turned your bedroom into a bombsite you can scrutinize each pile. It's also handy from here to see what you're lacking in your wardrobe and what you've got way to much of. Letting go of pieces you no longer wear and popping things back away you know you love makes you look at your wardrobe in a whole new light. It's amazing, and the absolute best way to start.
* Play. Put random clothing pieces together and play with fashion. Mix colours, mix patterns and mix textures - You might be surprised by the outcome and it may even make you look at your wardrobe in a whole different light. And even if that doesn't happen, you've had fun paying dress up right? I found layering different textures and playing around with silhouettes worked best for me. I've embraced less fitted clothes and have actually enjoyed being that bit comfier in what I wear - It's a win win situation.


* Listen to others. Go shopping with friends and ask how they'd dress you. Getting a whole other perspective on the way you put outfits together can be so refreshing. Especially if it's someone who dresses totally different to you. It may be nerve wrecking at first, but I think it's one of those where the more you let go and let someone else take control, the more you'll get out of it. It might even help swapping wardrobes, not necessarily all of it, but exchanging bits and pieces can be so refreshing and may even help you with future wardrobe purchases.
* Don't give AF. Possibly one of the hardest things to do! We live in a world where what we do and even what we wear gets criticized on a daily basis through our social media channels. It's such a shame, but it seems like the norm in the digital age. Learning to wear what you want to wear and not giving a rats ass about who doesn't like it is the most freeing thing! We've all heard the saying 'you do you' and that's something I've been learning to do over the last half a year. I quite often say it, but I feel like I've reverted back into teenage me when it comes to fashion, and you know what, I bloody love it! 
You won't believe the transformation my wardrobe has had over the last few months. I've massively downsized the amount of pieces I have stashed away in there, throwing out and donating those that needed a little more love than I was willing to give them. I've gained a few new exciting additions to my wardrobe meaning I no longer want to crawl into my pajamas as soon as I get in from work. I want to get dressed up again and get excited by fashion. That's not to say I'll be uploading fashion posts left, right and centre, because I probably won't but, I am finding the fun in fashion again which is amazing!

Have you ever lost your fashion direction? How did you find it again?

Claire. X

Did you see my latest post? It's a few daft goals for 2018.

Coat - Primark
Jumper - New Look
Culottes - Primark
Shoes - Vans
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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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