Claire Mac

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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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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Beauty | fuss Free Skincare With Nivea

I'm a firm believer that less is more when it comes to skincare. I've never been the type of person to put a million and one products on my face, partly down to laziness, but mostly through not wanting to clog my pores with excess and unnecessary beauty products.
I've tried various products over my umpteen years and have found some firm favourites along the way but a brand I always come back to & a brand I believe is quite underrated in the blogosphere is Nivea.
To begin cleansing I like to go in with a product that's going to get rid of the vast amount of makeup in the shortest amount of time. Go hard or go home right? The Nivea Exfoliating Scrub is super gentle but super effective at getting rid of makeup and any dead skin cells. It's creamy, smells delicious and leaves my skin feeling incredible.

As a second cleanse and to get rid of any excess makeup I like to use the Nivea Double Eye Makeup Remover. I pop the liquid oil cleanser on a cotton pad and swish it across my eyes to remove left over or waterproof mascara before giving a second swoosh to the rest of my face. I love the half oil, half liquid formula to this, it feels really lovely and luxurious to the skin & I'm almost positive it a slight shimmer to it, which is always a bonus!
An iconic and instantly recognisable product in my collection is the Nivea Creme, a super thick, luxurious moisturiser which I couldn't be without right now, especially as we reach the colder months. It's very similar to Soap & Glorys' Righteous Butter in terms of texture and how it feels on the skin, the only difference being it takes a little longer to sink into the skin, but its so worth it because you can feel all the oils working their magic. I can't imagine this being particularly great if you have oily skin, but because mine is quite normal to dry it works brilliantly for me. My skin just drinks it all up!

These three products, as simple as they are, have worked wonders for my skin... And the fact that Nivea is a bargain brand is a total bonus!

Have you tried any of these Nivea products before? What are your go to skincare products?

Claire.X

Have you read any of my previous posts...
Wedding Files | Half Way There
Beauty | 5 Summer Beauty Favourites
Beauty | Loreal Paradise Mascara
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Saturday, 9 September 2017

Wedding Files Part 3 | Half Way There

It's a scary time for us right not in our lives. We've got so much to do Wedding wise & absolutely so little time! It's bizarre to think that we booked our Wedding ten months ago, which on a timeline puts us near as damn it half way there. Eeek!
The Venue.
Finding a venue was a relatively easy task for us both. I'd seen various publications from our chosen venue over the last few years and had already had it in my head for if we were to ever get married. I'd shown Dan, and although we did look at other venues close by with a similar sort of vibe, nothing really compared to what we'd initially seen. For us it's absolutely perfect!
The Legal Stuff.
I'm so glad we sorted the legal side of things quite early on. It sounds silly, because it's such a simple task, but I could definitely have imagined us forgetting about this. It's basically like a more formal version of Mr & Mrs, it was bizarrely nerve wrecking in fact but over in a matter of minutes & was absolutely fine.
The Theme.
Something else that was quite easy for us, especially after booking our dream venue. Our theme fits perfectly with our venues' setting and compliments both Dan & I as people. Finding a theme and overall colour scheme was a bit of a no-brainer for us & super easy to tick off the list. Woop woop!
The Entertainment.
Finding some amazing entertainment for our big day was definitely high on our priorities. Understanding that good bands are hard to find and get booked up really quickly, this was the second thing we secured after our venue. After looking online for what felt like forever, dismissing band after band we eventually managed to source two brilliant, but very different bands for our wedding day. One acoustic duo for during the day & for the evening a seven piece rock & roll band and I for one absolutely can't wait to boogie on down to both  of them!
The Dress.
I haven't got my dress yet, however this is something that's planned in for the next couple of weeks - I'm going to spend a weekend with my closest ladies & *fingers crossed* find my dream dress! In my head I have a pretty clear idea of what it is I'm looking for, so I'm hoping finding the perfect dress is going to be a relatively easy task. I've heard from various people however that what they think their wedding dress is going to look like & what they actually come out with is more often than not two totally different things. If you're already married, or are engaged & have already bought your dress I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
The Photography.
This was a biggie for us & took us quite a while to organise. When you're surrounded by amazing photography in the blogging world it makes you much pickier when it comes to finding a Wedding photographer. And in this case, picky isn't a bad thing! After hours (actually maybe days) scouring the internet we decided on the most amazing, whimsical, fairtytale styled photographer & I'm SO excited.
The Flowers.
The thought of organising flowers for our big day terrifies me. I don't think Dan's particularly bothered about what we have, leaving it up to me, but I have no idea on how to even start looking at the buggers. I'm totally clueless! I have absolutely no idea what flower is what, the only thing I have inside my head is a colour scheme, so I'm hoping to find a florist soon, who can basically take what little knowledge I have & run with it. I've also got a sneaky suspicion the flowers are going to cost an absolute shed load, which scares me, especially for something were now 100 fussed by. Heeeelp!
The Rings.
Working in a jewellers means I've had my eye on the perfect Wedding ring for quite some time now., in fact I was eyeing them up quite quickly after getting engaged. Eeek! Dan hasn't chosen what he wants yet, but mine is on order ready to collect a month before the big day. It's super sparkly & looks amazing next to my engagement ring
The Cake.
After designing our engagement party cake, this should hopefully be a doddle! I don't think it's going to be too different to be fair, only on a slightly bigger scale. Pinterest has been absolutely amazing for cake inspiration for us! I'm wanting

We've got another few bits and bobs to organise still, like favours, bridesmaids & best men outfits, hair & makeup trials. All what I'm considering as 'tit bits' - You know the things that aren't massively important, that will eventually get done. Thankfully we've managed to secure the big things for the day, and even though I'm sure we're going to have some stressful times ahead of us, we're both really excited!

Are you married, or planning a Wedding? Any tips of tricks would be very much apreciated.

Claire.X

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