A Yorkshire based lifestyle & parenting blog written by Claire Chircop.

Beauty | New In Beauty Products & First Impressions.

I've been holding off buying any new beauty bits recently, and if you've seen my secret backup makeup stash you'll understand why. I've got so many bits & pieces hidden away waiting to be used, I really didn't need to buy these bits, but I felt I just had to have them... Treat yo'self right?

I've got quite a few mascaras in my makeup collection, but funnily (or not so funnily) enough they all seem to be running out at the exact same time. Does this happen to anyone else? It was complete perfect timing that I very luckily received the new Rimmel Volume Colourist mascara. I love drugstore mascaras, in fact the only higher end mascara I get on with is Benefits' They're Real, so I was super duper excited to try this.
I've used this mascara a few times now & I absolutely love how fluffy it makes my lashes look. I'm funny when it comes to my lashes, sometimes I like thick jet black spidery lashes & others I prefer more of a natural look which is exactly where this mascara comes into play. It's brilliant.

After mourning the loss of my ever faithful Solar Powder from Soap & Glory I was on the lookout for a new bronzer & something that rather surprisingly caught my eye was the Sunkissed Bronzing Pearls from B&M. Yes!.. You heard me. Good old B&M. Honesty, I need to do more shopping there because I managed to pick up some total bargains, not only makeup but hair care pieces too - It was brilliant!
Initially I was worried that the pearls would be too dark for my skin tone, but giving my face a light dusting with the product works perfectly. I like using the Brush Works Powder Brush with the bronzing pearls as it has quite a large surface area, ensuring the face is covered quickly and efficiently, which is exactly what I'm all about. These pearls have been a fab addition to my makeup collection & I'm pretty sure they're going to last me a long time.

Something I was mega excited to try was the Matte Me Up Lip Kits from Barry M. As soon as I saw them advertised I knew I had to give them a go, even more so with the popularity of the Kylie Lip Kits, I wanted to see how the cheaper alternative compared.
I've used the liner & liquid lipstick duo a few times since purchasing & I hate to say it, but I really don't like it. The liner works wonderfully, but the lipstick just doesn't work for me, it's a very liquidy liquid which for me is so difficult to apply. If it isn't on my teeth, it's halfway up my face & truth be told, it's just not worth the extra faf. Don't get me wrong, I've read some ace reviews about this product, but for me it doesn't quite work. I'd love to know if you think otherwise?

Not that I needed it in the slightest, but I also treated myself to a Barry M Lip Liner. I'm massively into nude/brown lips and when I saw this liner in the shade Toast I knew it'd make a welcome addition to my collection. You can't really go wrong with a product like this, especially for the price, I think I only paid around £3 for this liner, which is an absolute bargain!

Believe it or not, I didn't actually own a contour kit, that was up until about five days ago! Woop! I'm not too sure why that is really, because I do like to define my cheekbones, I just relied heavily on the bronzer, blush, highlight combination. How old school of me!
I picked up the Barry M Chisel Cheeks Contour Kit in the shade light-medium & it's a game changer. The shades are quite ashy with a warm undertone which works absolutely perfectly with my skin tone. I've been using the kit every day since getting it & I love it, the only thing I don't like is the cardboard packaging. It's gotten so grubby already in the five days that I've had it, it makes me sad swishing my brush around in there, because I know I'm making it worse. First world problems or what?

Have you tried any of these products yet? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Especially if you disagree with me about the Barry M Lip Kits.


Have you read my latest post? I'm talking about adulting, and the expectations vs reality of it.

Lifestyle | Expectations VS Reality Of Adulting.

I've got a birthday coming up in the next few months & the older I get, the more I become in two minds about how I feel about turning another year older.

I'm at that age where everyone my age is getting married, buying houses, settling down and starting families, which is so exciting & I'm so stoked to be at that stage in life, however there are moments where I'd love nothing more than to regress into 18 year old me. She was cool... She didn't have a care in the world, she was out every other weekend, she had an active social life and she was probably in the best physical shape of her life! Oh those were the days! Those were also the days where I'd be wishing I'd be accepted as an adult, I had dreams of what adulting would be like and now I'm actually there my expectations vs the reality are so different!

Expectation: Landing the dream job, where I get to wear power suits all day long.
Reality: Stumbling across a job that suits & pays the bills. 
Not saying I don't enjoy my job now, but working in administration was never the dream for me. On paper it's the perfect job, but when I was younger I had dreams of owning my own design business, being my own boss & slaying that power suit every god damn day. The reality is that relocating & trying to find a job to pay the bills was a necessity. Thankfully I've worked my way up in the company since starting on a twelve hour minimum wage contract and am at a stage now where I'm happy doing what I'm doing, I know what I'm doing & I'm actually quite content waking up everyday and going to work.

Expectation: Owning the dream pinterest worthy house in the middle of nowhere with space on the drive for two cars.
Reality: Owning a two up two down.
Okay, so I can't totally complain about this one. I'm very aware that Dan & I are incredibly lucky to be on the property ladder, it's common knowledge that it's getting harder and harder for people to buy their first home, and even though it didn't happen by chance, becoming a homeowner at 24 is probably my best achievement yet! It's not the dream abode, truth is we bought a house, and made it our home, which is absolutely everything I could have asked for! We're still saving to buy the dream house, but as a twenty six year old woman I now understand what's achievable and what can be made our reality.

Expectation: Having the perfect body.
Reality: Having an okay body that's barely able to run 100m without being out of breath.
When I was younger I was so athletic, I loved playing sports and could quite easily run a ten minute mile. Even though nowadays I'm still quite slim, my body is nowhere near what it used to be in terms of what it can achieve. The thought of dusting off my running trainers & popping on my gym kit fills me with dread, which is something I most definitely need to get over! Becoming more active is something I need to do, so any hints or tips for a lazy ass such as myself would be very much appreciated.

Expectation: Living comfortably.
Reality: Living paycheck to paycheck.
Pretty much every penny I make has a place to go before I've even made it, whether it be on the mortgage, my car insurance or ready to be transferred into the wedding fund. I'm well and truly living paycheck to paycheck. The week before payday is always the absolute worst, it's literally a week or rice and beans, which isn't great, and every month I tell myself I'm going to get better, but it's complete a lifestyle change! I'm really going to try harder at saving money, because I know exactly how to do it, I just don't put it into practice. I need to learn to ask myself 'do I really need it?' when I'm contemplating handing my pennies over.

All being said, my life's pretty darn great right now... I own a house, I have a job, I'm healthy & I'm happy. If that doesn't sound like an amazing life, I don't know what does.

What have I missed off the list? What expectations did you have of adulting & how do they compare with your reality?


Have you read my latest post? I've found some pretty ace alternatives to denim jeans.

Fashion | The Khaki Alternative To Jeans.

The older I get, the more I find myself dressing for comfort & practicality rather than for fashion. I realise that's such an old lady thing to say, but hey, this is real life & if my outfit looks good then it's a bonus!

Something I love but find really uncomfortable are denim jeans. Don't get me wrong the vast majority of bottoms in my wardrobe are denim jeans, especially of the skinny variety, but boy they be bloody uncomfortable. So uncomfy in fact that I've been on the hunt for alternatives.

If you took a peek into my wardrobe you'd see that my colour palette consists of black, white, grey & khaki green... Adventurous right? But it seemed only fitting when looking for denim alternatives to search for a pair of khaki trousers. I was on the lookout for something that would be easy to style, lightweight and comfortable, which is exactly what I found in this pair from Primark.

Like what I was on the hunt for, the trousers are extremely lightweight, it almost feels like I'm not wearing any trousers (Eeek!) which I suppose is exactly what I was searching for. They have a super forgiving elasticated waistband at the back & are slightly cropped which is a style I'm all about right now! I'm going to get so much wear out of these I can tell, especially as we get closer towards Summer, in fact these pants would be just perfect for wearing on an evening on holiday. Yay! I love multitasking clothes.

I've styled the trousers in quite a casual way today, however I'm more than confident I could pop on a pair of my favourite heels, a sparky top and dance the night away in them. Today's a casual, running errands, tidying the house type day so I've thrown on a basic black tee, my trusty (not so white anymore) converse & possibly my favourite buy of last year, my oversized black aviator jacket.

I've also done something a little different with my hair today. I have space buns & I frigging love them! I can't believe how much doing something even slightly different to my hair has changed my outlook for the day. I've taken a bit of time out to make my hair and makeup look half decent this morning & I feel like I've actually got my shit together, which is amazing! Does anyone else get like this?

Do jeans make up most of your wardrobe? Where's your favourite place to shop for them?


Trousers - Primark
Top - Primark
Jacket - River Island
Shoes - Shuh
Bag - LaRedoute*
Choker - Primark

Have you caught up on my latest post - I've been pampering myself.

Beauty | My Easter Pamper Night.

Happy Easter! Can you believe we're already a third of the way through the year, because I certainly can't. Time goes by quicker & quicker the older I get, I'm sure of it!.. Saying that, I'm sure if you've given up something for Lent, then I bet it feels like the longest forty days. If you've given anything up I'd love to know, I'm not sure I'd have the will power.

That being said, we're finally on Good Friday & finally at the four day weekend. Woohoo! Sadly for me I'm working both bank holidays (damn you retail) so my weekend will be a little less wild than most, but the old woman inside me is totally okay with that! 

This Good Friday I'll be being mega indulgent, treating myself to a pamper night, a catch up on all the shitty TV I've missed, quite possibly be ordering a naughty takeaway & most excitingly hosting #BDIB.

First thing I'll be doing is scheduling my tweets to host #BDIB. I like to get organised and have my questions prepared at least a few hours before the chat is due to start, call me a control freak but I love having everything ready so I can join the chat at 8pm and be fully ready to rock and roll. Tonights chat is all about awkward situations, and I for one am so excited to host, I'm sure I'll get a few giggles out of toights topic.

If you know anything about me, you'll know that I'm a total bath person - There's nothing I love more than taking a bit of time out, surrounding myself in boiling hot bubbly water & catching up with a book. Tonight I'll be using the Baa Bar bubble bar (try saying that after a few wines) from Lush which is going to be absolutely perfect for tonight - I've been working so many hours recently, that a lavender infused bath feels like the only way for me to have a successful nights sleep. That and putting fresh sheets on the bed. Oh my God - I'm so excited to go to sleep already! I'm such an old woman!

As well as my body, my hair also needs a little TLC so I'll be using The Special One from Lavoly, a hair treatment which targets 10 different areas to make your hair the best it can be. You can use the treatment on dry hair to help style, but I like using it as a mask which I'll then wash off with Pro:Voke silver shampoo & conditioner, my hair always feels so much healthier after this combination, especially my bleached ends, the difference it makes to my hair is amazing.

As lame as it sounds, one of my aims for this year was to moisturise more & tonight I'm going to be using The Body Shops Fuji Green Tea Body Sorbet, which probably has the most unusual scent & texture of a product I've ever used, but I absolutely love it! The range has been out for a little while now, but if you haven't smelt the Fuji Green Tea range from The Body Shop I absolutely urge you to go give it a whiff - It's totally amazing! After I'm all silky smooth I'll be doing something I haven't done in a long time, tanning! I cannot wait to be even slightly tanned and St Tropez is my go to brand! Goodbye pasty legs, hello sun kissed skin!

As well as pampering I'm going to be cudding with my pooch, reading a few bridal magazines and having a well deserved early night. What will you be doing with your Easter weekend?


Fashion | Taking Inspiration From Oversized Tailoring.

Look who's back with an OOTD! Who is this lady I hear you all say!... Would you believe this is only the second fashion orientated post to hit clairemac of 2017, because I blooming can't.

Truth be told, I've been quite down in the dumps recently about fashion & body image - I've had a few bad spells of being really poorly this year & have generally been feeling a bit shitty about myself, which isn't great & I think you can sense that with my lack of posts this year. My lack of posting & in particularly finding inspiration makes me feel sad, but I'm getting myself 100% again. Watch this space!

My blog initially started as a fashion blog; I loved experimenting with clothing, documenting different looks, and I want to get myself back there. I spoke a few weeks ago about what I want to achieve from my blog & that's exactly what I'm going to be practicing. I want to find new locations to shoot, to keep myself inspired. I want to invest in new pieces to rejuvenate my wardrobe. I want to create kick ass content... The saying 'I want never gets' means nothing to me when it comes to my blog!

Today I'm feeling inspired because of a new addition to my wardrobe - Say hello to my new long line tailored black blazer. The reason I'm taking inspiration from this, is because I initially bought it to wear at work, but after popping it on and getting a feel for the oversized relaxed fit of it, it's really quickly encouraged me to wear my work wear in every day wear. I love mixing tailored pieces with more casual items in my wardrobe, so having this new addition seems to make perfect sense. It's the best of both worlds. It's a lovely quality & I think the oversized fit is going to be perfect as we get closer towards Summer.
I was debating on wearing my converse with this look, I've been loving wearing my white high top trainers with these ankle grazer ripped jeans, as they leave the perfect amount of ankle (if that's a thing) exposed. I'd usually wear something lower & have more of my ankle on show, but I'm really enjoying leaving a little more to the imagination, as they say. Instead I've opted for a pair of classic black boots which seem to have been in my wardrobe forever. They weren't expensive, but I see them as an investment piece as they go with just about everything. I'd love to get myself another pair actually, maybe ones which come a little higher up the leg, perhaps like a sock style boot? Answers on a postcard please.

To accessorise and make todays' outfit look a little more put together I've dug out my oh so festive black faux fur cross body bag and velvet choker. I love that this bag comes with gold hardware, because finding something that comes in anything other than silver can be so difficult, and if you're a regular reader of clairemac you'll know that I only ever do yellow gold, so this is an absolute winner for me! I bloody love it!

What do you think of todays' outfit? What do you do when you're lacking fashion inspiration?

Lotsa love! Claire.X

Blazer - New Look
Top - Topshop
Jeans - Primark
Boots - New Look
Bag - Zara
Choker - Primark

Beauty | Rimmel Volume Shake Mascara.

Clump free mascara? Is that a thing? Could it be a thing? Well that's certainly what Rimmel are claiming with their new Volume Shake mascara.

As well as making the mascara clump free, Rimmels' newest mascara claims to last up to a full year, double the time your standard mascaras will survive. This is due to their bottles patented shaker style packaging, when you're feeling the mascara turning dry just give it a couple of shakes like the cocktail pro that you are & it'll be as right as rain.

The cocktail shaker style bottle coats the mascara wand with clump free, jet black liquid mascara, which when applied feels so much more fluid than others I've tried. The formula of the mascara is very lightweight, which although it provides the lashes with instant length & definition, it does mean that you've got to be pretty precise when applying. Due to the fluidity of the Volume Shake, it's quite easy (especially for me) to become heavy handed with the mascara & create a look I'm definitely not wanting to achieve... Panda eyes are so 2008! My makeup is usually applied around 6.30am (Gah - I'm feeling tired just thinking about it) when I'm getting up for work and this mascara lasts all day long! It's amazing. Not only are there no clumps, but there's no fall out either, which is flipping amazing - What's not to love?

I love super dark spidery lashes as much as the next person, but I feel you need the rest of the makeup look to go with it & most of the time that's just not what I'm about. I love creating a flawless no makeup, makeup look and with that comes super long, separated lashes, which is exactly why the Rimmel Volume Shake mascara fits perfectly into my collection.

If you're into super thick heavy lashes maybe this mascara isn't the one for you, but other than that I think it's a brilliant product, especially if you're looking for long separate lashes. This one's a keeper!

What's your favourite mascara?


*This product was gifted to me by Rimmel. Opinions are 100% my own*

Beauty | Introducing Organic Skincare With Antique Apothecary.*

I'm very much into my skincare, even more so than makeup, but one thing I don't know a great deal about is natural and organic based skincare products. Admittedly hunting for natural products isn't my highest priority when it comes to skincare, it's naive of me to say but if a product works, then it works, whether it's organic or not.

Luckily for me I was recently introduced to Antique Apothecary, an organic brand which fuses nature and luxury together. Antique Apothecary develop state of the art natural products which live up to the high quality standard of luxury items of modern times, and what's amazing about the brand is that they're family run and everything is made by them from scratch here in the UK. Amazing right?

When you order through Antique Apothecary you will receive your goodies in an amazing assorted gift box, so no two orders will be the same, which I think is an absolutely fabulous idea. My order came in a beautiful owl printed teal green gift box which was such a lovely surprise and looks beautiful on my coffee table. It's the perfect box for popping all my odds & ends in, and lord knows I've got a load of them lying around the house!

In my package came the Moisturising Lotion With Rose Otto & Cherry Blossom which is a floral toning lotion suitable for all skin types. I've been using the toner as part of my skincare routine, after cleansing and before moisturising both on a morning & on the evening. The product is mega refreshing and gentle on the skin, which you don't often find with products as heavily scented as this, so I was really pleasantly surprised. The product disperses brilliantly from the nozzle, covering the full face in just a couple of squirts & sinks seamlessly into the skin making a perfect base for the rest of your skincare routine.

To moisturise I've been religiously using the Athina Anti-Ageing Cream With Mediterranean Ingredients which has been an absolute godsend, especially while I've been in Iceland. The moistusier is perfect for all skin types, but especially helps those with dehydrated and fatigued looking skin like myself, as it's packed full of essential oils. You get an instant hit with this moisturiser as it has such an oily intensity, which I feel some people may not get on with, but I 100% love it! I love it when you can feel a product is working right from the get go & that's exactly what I get from this baby.

Thirdly I received the award winning Sun & Beauty Natural Sunscreen, which admittedly I haven't been using as much as the previous two products, but I have been training myself into using it. A lot of the beauty products I use had an added SPF so I'd never felt the need to use a separate sun protecting lotion, but from what I've tried this one has been ace. I've been popping this on, on a morning before applying my makeup and not only does it smell beautiful, it's protecting my skin & it also acts as a surprisingly good primer. What's not to like about it?

When you order with Antique Apothecary you will also receive a list of ingredients used within each product which I think is an amazing addition. For someone who doesn't know a massive amount about natural & organic skincare this really helped tell me a little bit more about each product. They're also able to customise their products, for example if you're allergic to one of their ingredients, you can send them an email & they can make it for you to suit, which I think is amazing! Antique Apothecary really have gone the extra mile with their products!

Are you into organic skincare? What are your favourite brands?


*This post is a paid for advertorial in collaboration with Antique Apothecary*