A parenting & lifestyle blog written by Claire Chircop.

Lifestyle | 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.
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!

Lifestyle | 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

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

Lifestyle | 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

Beauty | 'That' Fenty Beauty Foundation

*This post contains paid for links & is in collaboration with we thrift*

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

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?


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


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!

wedding planning flat lay image.

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!

Wedding planning flat lay image with rings.

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.



It's debatable that we've even had one, but as August draws in it means that Summer's on its way out. Personally I'll be sad to see Summer go, the dewy makeup looks, long loose beachy hair & fresh summer scents. I've really enjoyed experimenting more with beauty this Summer and I'm sure I'll carry these products further into the year but as the title suggests, here's my fave five of the season.

Marc Jacobs. Splash Pear eau de toilette.
I was very lucky to receive this scent as a birthday present last month. It's a scent I'd not actually heard of previously, but it's one I've fallen in love with. Splash Pear is an obviously fruity scent but it's much more grown up than anything else similar that I've smelt, and lingers around throughout the day making me feel super fresh and sophisticated. I like fruitier scents in general, but feel they're so much more appropriate for this time of year.

I've had this highlight in my collection for almost a year now, truth be told I thought I'd lost it not that long ago, but it had just dropped behind my dressing table. If that isn't a sign I've got too much makeup I don't know what is. I love the versatility of this product though, I either mix it in with my foundation or swipe it straight into the tops of my cheeks as a standard highlight. In my opinion you can never have too much highlight, especially in Summer, and for me this product is just perfect - I haven't found another which has beaten it so far!

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette.
I've had this palette in my collection for such a long time now but I've only recently rediscovered it again. I think it's because Urban Decay have just brought out the Heat palette, that it's put the Naked 3 palette to the forefront of my mind. The shades are absolutely perfect for me, I love the rosy tones and the mix of mattes and shimmers. It's just perfect!

A newbie to my collection, this mascara has hit me hard! I'm in love with the formula, it's so nourishing, so lengthening and makes my lashes super duper fluttery. I don't have to worry about fall out with this product either, which is often a concern when it comes to mascara. Usually by the end of the day I've got the pandaiest (put that in the dictionary Susie Dent) of panda eyes, but with this they look exactly the same at 9pm as they do at 9am.

Something I said right at the beginning of the year is that I wanted to spend more time moisturising my body & even though it's something I fallen quite slack with a few months ago, I'm well & truly on the moisturising bandwagon. This body sorbet is my go to product at the moment. I love the gel like texture to it, it's super duper light, gets the job done, and smells incredible!

Have you used any of these products before? If you had to pick, what's the one product you haven't been able to live without this Summer?

Claire. X

Beauty | Loreal Paradise Mascara

It feels like there's new products appearing at our beauty counters every single day now. New palettes, new lip products - It's quite hard to keep up! But one product I did want to keep up with & was very excited about is the Loreal Paradise mascara.
I've seen this product being promoted left right and centre over the last month or so, which means for me it can either go one of two ways. I'm either going to completely hate it and not feel the hype what so ever, or I'm going to fall hook line and sinker in love and wear it to death. Thankfully for me, this one was the latter.
It was a mix of things really that got me so excited about this mascara; The hype, the branding, the fact it's from my favourite cosmetics brand, but also because it's come at the exact right time! My previous mascara fave, Miss Hippie which funnily enough is also from Loreal has ran out which makes me very sad!
As soon as I layered the product onto my lashes I noticed how nourishing and silky feeling the liquid is, which is quite a bizarre thing to say about a mascara. But it's only since looking into the product that I've realised it contains super nourishing caster oil which is fab and leaves my lashes feeling feather soft.
Another biggie for me is that this mascara claims to be flake free & as claims go that's a pretty big one! But let me tell you, it's bloody well true. I've worn this mascara now on countless occasions, rubbed my eyes, cried with laughter, so on and so forth, and it hasn't budged! It's great! All I need now is this in a waterproof formula.

My lashes were well and truly taken to paradise! Have you tried anything from the Loreal Paradise range? 

Claire. X


The winter chill really doesn’t agree with my skin, so upping my skincare game both morning & night really helps combat the harsh weather effects. I’m usually pretty good at sticking to a routine but I find myself being a lot stricter & I’m dedicating more time to perfecting my winter skincare routine. Today I’m going to be talking through my morning skincare routine - It’s one that really works for me & I find really brightens my skin ready for the day!

I begin the day by lathering a pea sized amount of the Simple kind to skin refreshing facial wash gel upon my face. As the name suggests, the product is really refreshing & the perfect way to start the morning skincare routine. The gel is gentle on the skin and leaves the face feeling super duper fresh ready for the following products.
I exfoliate using The Body Shops’ Vitamin E Cream Exfoliator. This has been an amazing addition to my morning skincare routine as even though it does have the exfoliating beads in, the product itself is ridiculously soft & soothing which is brill for this time of year! I love using this one as it’s a cream formula so the exfoliating product is actually really moisturising at the same time as cleansing. I couldn’t rave about this enough!

Using a cotton pad I then swish a small amount of the Simple Kind to skin soothing facial toner across my full face. The toner evens out any moisture unbalance within my face & leaves the skin looking healthy & radiant. 
The Moogoo full cream is designed to use on dry skin so at this time of year it’s especially useful. The moisturiser has been adapted from a product used to soften cows udders (hence the name) so if you can imagine how tough & hard wearing the product needs to be. I’m not overly sold on the creamy scent, but the product itself is amazing! It’s the most moisturising moisturiser I think I’ve ever used & it’s one that I’ll repurchase & repurchase again.

To finish my morning skincare routine, I pop a small amount of the Simple kind to eyes soothing balm, under my peepers to try eradicate any dark circles. And with this my morning skincare routine is complete!

A persons' skincare routine is very personal to them & although all five products work brilliantly well for me, it's not to say they'll work as well for everybody else. Have you tried any of these products before? What are your go to skincare products? I'd love to know, so pop your answers in the comments below.

Thanks for reading. Lots of love | Claire.x

Event | Lush Leeds Spa. Leeds, UK.

It’s crazy to think of the amazing opportunities, this little old blog has given me! I’m a seriously lucky girl! One of the most hotly anticipated events of the festive season was that of the cult cosmetics brand, Lush! This has to be the fastest RSVP I’ve ever written – I didn’t care what my shifts were, I was going to this event! Luckily for me I’d already had the day off work… So no sickies were pulled in order to attend this event, I promise!

The event was to celebrate the reopening of the Lush Leeds Spa, which is downstairs in the city centre store for those (along with myself) who didn’t know it existed. I’ve visited the city centre store on a handful of occasions and for the life of me, have never noticed the huge sign saying ‘Spa downstairs’ – Doh! There are four treatment rooms downstairs, each specifically designed to suit four beautifully indulgent spa treatments. The first treatment room is Beatles based & very aptly named ‘A Hard Days Night’ which consists of a 75 minute massage of gentle & passive stretches aimed to elevate the body & mind, whilst listening to an album of the four pieces, classics. The second room contains the ‘Sound Bath’ session, a really unusual sensory spa treatment aimed at stimulating circulation and becoming more in tune with yourself. In the session, tuning forks are struck & then placed at the temples & then over the ears which reveal the most bizarrely intense whirring noise. Almost like a higher pitched electricity buzz, it’s a really difficult sound to describe, but it feels amazing, so if you’re after a treat, but something a bit different I’d highly recommend this one at £70. The third room was a double treatment room where you could indulge in treatments such as ‘The Comforter’ a super luxurious chocolatey treatment. Lush were clearly saving the best till last with their fourth & final treatment ‘Planets’ a 3 hour treatment perfect for a group of girlfriends or a hen party. The treatment consists of a 90 minute full body massage, 30 minute hand & arm massage and then a 60 minute facial… All after hopping in the bath with your favourite Lush bath bomb! The treatment looks amazing & it’d be a complete treat however at £285 per person it's very much so on the pricier side of treatments.

Along with the treatment rooms we also got to have a nosey around the store at their new Christmas ranges. I love the Peeping Santa bubble bars, they’re just the cutest things & would make brilliant stocking fillers, along with the Dashing Santas and one of my faves, the Luxury Lush Pud. I finally got my mitts on the Comforter shower gel, which unbelievably smells even better than the bubble bar! I really can’t decide whether I prefer this or Snow Fairy? Decisions decisions! It’s too tricky!

What are your favourite Lush products?

Thank you so much for reading. Lots of love | Claire.x


Following on from 'My Winter Morning Skincare Routine' today I'm going to be chatting to you guys about how I take my makeup off on an evening & prepare my skin ready for the next day.

To begin with I remove the majority of my makeup with Garniers' micellar water. I take a few drops of the product onto a cotton pad, which I bring to my eyes first and leave the for a couple of seconds before swishing my makeup away. I only discovered micellar water about a year ago, but I have honestly never looked back - I wish I'd discovered it sooner, as it's makes my evening skincare routine soo much quicker!

To remove any excess makeup I then go over with Soap & Glory's Peaches & Clean. This is a product that I really didn't like to begin with, but after leaving it a little while & retrying, I've absolutely fallen in love with it. I've equally fallen in love with the double cleanse. My skin feels so refreshed & moisturised after using the two products together, for my skin they are a force to be reckoned with!

To replenish and soften my skin I use The Body Shops' Vitamin E Overnight Serum in Oil. This product works its' magic overnight & reveals a youthful glow to the face, the next morning. I find using even the tiniest amount of product goes a long way with this serum so I know I'm definitely going to get my moneys worth out of this one.

Just to add a bit more moisture to my face and neck area, I'll pop on a small amount of the Derma Q10 innovations night cream. You can pick this moisturiser up for a measly couple of quid & it works fantastically well. I've been using this in summer too, but I find it especially useful at this time of year because of the thicker, more nourishing formula.

Finally, if I'm feeling like my skin needs that extra pick me up (which is most days at the moment - damn you 5am gettyups) I'll use The Body Shops' Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask. If you were to only buy one product from The Body Shop, I'd be recommending this little beauty all day long! I flipping love the stuff. It's a total skin transformer! Each morning after using this overnight mask, my face looks amazing (not to blow my own trumpet or aything) but it looks so healthy & hydrated - Perfect for these cold ass days we're having.

Are there any products here that you'd like to try or have already incorporated into your skincare routine? I'd love to know in the comments below.

Once again, thank you for reading & following me on my #Blogmas journey. Lots of love | Claire.x

Beauty | Emma Hardie, Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm.

I've perfected my morning & evening routines over the years (Gah I'm so old!) so I'm always a little dubious when it comes to incorporating new products into my routine. Especially when they're the more pricier, higher end skincare products, like the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Morniga Cleansing Balm. Luckily for me, my very generous boyfriend picked this up for me as part of my Christmas box. Yay! 

I'll be honest, the main thing that put me off buying this product for myself, was the price. However that's just me being stingy, and if you think this is going to be a review to discourage you from indulging & treating yourself, then you are very much mistaken! This gorgeous tub of wonderfulness will set you back £38.00 however will last you an absolute age, as you only need to apply a pea sized amount of the product to reap its' benefits. I'm planning on using me a couple of times a week as a treat (This 'treat' could possibly turn into 7 days a week. Oops!) and I'm fully anticipating this to last me all year. Honestly!

To begin with, the balm texture felt really unusual as I've always relied on exfoliating face washes and gel consistencies to remove my makeup, so lathering my face in the waxy balm did feel quite strange at first. After getting over the initial alienness, I began to appreciate its' luxurious qualities, and rather quickly too for that matter. The Moringa Cleansing Balm is jam packed with Vitamin E, wild sea fennel & as the name suggests moringa seed extract making a really rejuvenating and hydrating cleanse. Because of its' waxy texture the question to whether the product leaves your face feeling sticky or greasy arrises... And in a two words, absolutely not! My face feels healthy, refined and baby soft - It's a dream to use this product & I wish I'd started using it sooner. The scent is both floral and citrussy, so the best of both worlds really. One doesn't over power the other, so I think it's a really lovely, unique scent - I can't stop sniffing it now, it's so gorgeous.
The product needs to be worked into the skin for a minute or so before wiping away with the Emma Hardie cleansing cloth. Rather than a rough muslin cloth, it's microfibre, which is really soft and gentle on the skin and leaves the face feeling smoothed and supple. The perfect way to end your cleanse & leave the skin feeling amazing.

Have you tried any Emma Hardie products before? I'd really like to venture out further with her brand, so if you have any recomendations, pop them in the comments below & I'll have a nosey.

Thanks for reading. Claire.x

Travel | A Dog Friendly Stay At Beck Hall, Malham.

I've written about the struggles of finding dog friendly accommodation before. In short, finding somewhere that's A. affordable B. luxurious and C. dog friendly is an absolute nightmare. It takes a fair bit of time to find something that ticks all the boxes, but we always get there and last week booked to stay for a few nights at Beck Hall in Malham in the Yorkshire Dales.

Beck Hall sits right next to the picturesque Malham beck which runs right from Malham Cove and into the River Aire. The setting couldn't be any more perfect if it tried! We were instantly impressed as we crossed the beck by the beautiful flag-stoned bridge and looked onto the old stone building. If I had unlimited money, this would be exactly the type of place I'd want to live. The scene is instantly calming and we knew we were in for a treat!

Beck Hall boasts a total of 18 uniquely designed en-suite bedrooms. We were in the Ayre room which was a miss match of different interior styles, but bizarrely it all worked. One wall was dark and papered with wallpaper I could only describe as being of a selective taste. I don't think dark paper emblazoned with regal looking dogs wearing bowler hats is for everyone, but hey ho, it's a conversation starter isn't it. The other three walls were a turquoise blue and the furniture was a dark wood, with a four poster bed taking main stage in the room. Like I say, if you saw it written down you'd think what the heck, but it actually worked!

Now onto the food! Oh my goodness to food! There wasn't anything lah-di-dah about the food at  Beck Hall, it was just good old Yorkshire home cooked food, and it was exactly what the Doctor ordered. Throughout our stay I ate like a Queen, dining on mushroom wellington & fish pie for our evening meals. We'd take a packed lunch while we were out walking during the day & come back to a delicious home cooked meal sitting outside in the sun by the riverside, which was an absolute treat after we'd been out adventuring all day.
We had an awesome stay at Beck Hall, it literally ticked all the boxes for us. Perfect location. Brilliantly accommodating staff. Delicious food. Comfy beds. What's not to love!
I think it's easy to forget how to chill when you're working a 9-5 job, especially when there's so much pressure and tension, so our two night stay was SO needed!

Have you been to the Yorkshire Dales before? What's your ideal staycation?

Claire. X

We also stayed at Ox Pasture Hall recently which is another ace dog friendly hotel.