Beauty, Beauty bloggers, Charlotte Tilbury, Jewellery, Joanie clothing, Nars, New Look, ootd, Outfit post, outfits, Plus sized, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, summer, Topshop, tropical, what i wore

Crete Cutie

What I did on my holidays, by Christina McMc aged 34 3/4

I desperately needed a holiday so I packed my bags, grabbed Mr. McMc and headed to Crete for a week. I swam in the sea, I sunbathed on the beach, I read many many awesome books while sitting on a balcony in my bikini, drinking icy cold beer and stuffing my face with crisps (which goes some way towards explaining the interesting pattern of suntan/sunburn on my body.) I made friends with a wide variety of cats, ate many delicious things and drank far too much Raki. It was utterly blissful and I was left with a golden glow (and a serious bout of Raki-induced indigestion) which is only just beginning to fade.

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JUMPSUIT: New Look Curve

BELT: Joanie (taken from one of their dresses, so can’t be purchased as a separate item)

EARRINGS: Topshop

BAG: YSL (vintage)

SHOES: New Look (old)

One of my favourite elements of being on holiday is dressing up to go to dinner. Even if I’m just going to a kebab shop at the end of the road, I’ll have great fun in rummaging through my suitcase attempting to find the most appropriate outfit. I wore this gorgeous ruffled New Look jumpsuit out for a walk along the beach, followed by drinking cocktails while watching Scotland win the football and a plate of utterly divine stuffed courgette flowers.

Crete full body (1)

I’ve got a few issues with New Look (I often feel as though they don’t treat their plus sized customers with the respect or the fashion forward clothing that they deserve), but it would churlish of me not to give props to this ace jumpsuit. Obnoxiously large ruffles are very much my jam this season and I’ll even forgive the one on this garment for being caught in a gust of wind and repeatedly smacking me in the face while I was just trying to have a walk and get on with my business. On the plus side, it did allow me to conveniently and discreetly blot my lipstick. So it’s not all bad.

Crete selfie

Speaking of make-up, I tried to keep it simple while I was away mainly because I was terrified of it all sweating off my face in one huge oil slick. Most nights, I went out looking like this. A swish of NARs’s Sugarland on the eyelids, a smudge of Charlotte Tilbury’s Velvet Underground on the lips and a swoop of Pat McGrath highlighter on the cheeks. Followed by the most important product of all, a huge spray of Urban Decay’s All Nighter setting spray. Well, I was on holiday after all.

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#girlboss, Charlotte Tilbury, Freelancing, Sponsored post

(Girl) Bossing It

Albert - I love my boss

Doesn’t time fly? On Friday, it will have been a whole year since I was made redundant from my old job and over nine months since I set up my little social media agency, Cattington. While it’s not for everyone, I’m adamant that making the move towards becoming my own boss is the best decision I’ve ever made. I love the freedom of being able to choose my own clients, make my own hours and work from bed as and when the situation requires (which I anticipate will be ‘every goddamn day’ now the temperature has dropped.) On a more practical level, working for myself has provided me with so much flexibility about when and where I can work – something which has proved to be incredibly useful considering all the curveballs life has thrown my way in 2017.

However, if there’s one thing I hate it’s invoicing. It is the bane of my life and, from speaking to other freelancers, I know I’m not alone here. It’s one of those necessary evils – after all, you can’t get paid if you don’t send an invoice. But the process of invoicing can be hugely time consuming. Time which you often don’t have if you’re focusing on growing your business. And that’s before we get to the soul crushing, stress inducing rigmarole of chasing late payments. It can be an exhausting and emotionally gruelling process which frequently distracts you from the important things, like pitching for work, doing the work and deciding which cafe you’re going to be working in has the best cake.

Which is where Albert comes in. Albert is a free invoicing app which has been developed for freelancers by freelancers. I’ve been using Albert for a few weeks now and I’ve been really impressed by how easy it is to use. It’s simple yet powerful, including all the functionality you need to look professional while providing you with easy access to your businesses finances. Best of all, it can all be done through your phone which is perfect if – like me – your phone is your most vital piece of business paraphernalia.

One of my favourite features is the functionality to send out branded Cattington invoices while on the go and preview them before they’re sent over to the client. As someone who is never in the same place (or even the same city) for very long and always trying to juggle 101 tasks at once, this is a lifesaver for me. The same applies to their status timeline which provides you with the flexibility to change dates and backdate invoices. Best of all, it allows you to include payment terms, such as payment due dates which is something which every freelancer should include in their invoices (if you don’t know what these are – and what your rights are regarding late payments and charging interest – this is a super useful guide) as well as a status timeline showing you when – and if – your invoice has been read by the client. Once you’ve invoiced the client, Albert also allows you to download everything into a handy .CSV spreadsheet which you can email to yourself, your accountant or even your Dad.

I could go on at great length about Albert, but I’d suggest that you do your own legwork, take a look at their website and read  some of their 5* reviews on the app store. It’s definitely one of the most intuitive freelance invoicing apps I’ve used and I feel like I’ve used practically all of them. Best of all, it’s totally free meaning that you don’t have to spend stupid amounts of money on getting your business’s finances into shape.

Girlboss

Obligatory picture of me looking all professional, like. Lipstick is Charlotte Tilbury’s K.I.S.S.I.N.G in ‘Velvet Underground’.

Loathe as I am to use the term #girlboss (particularly with the whole ‘being a 34 year old woman’ thing), I also don’t think that there’s anything cute in pretending that you’re too scatterbrained and creative to focus on your finances. Even if you think it’s boring, these are the things which will help your business – and yourself – thrive. Working for yourself can be hard, lonely and exhausting at times and anything which makes the process that little bit easier is always a win in my book. Apps like Albert help me stop fretting about money and start focusing on the things I’m good at. Now, if you excuse me, I have to get back to work…

Albert is currently available for iPhone and can be downloaded via the app store. This is a sponsored post, but all of my opinions are my own and 100% honest.

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Bbloggers, Charlotte Tilbury, dresses, gold, L'Oreal, lipstick, Make Up, metallics, Party wear, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, Primark, what i wore

Gold, Frankenstein and Grrr

‘That’s a lovely dress,’ said the woman at the till. ‘Off to the office Christmas party?’

‘Nope!’ I replied. ‘I’m a freelancer. We tend not to get invited to office Christmas parties.’

‘Oh. Well, that’s a shame love. Going to wear it to any other Christmas parties?’

‘To be honest, I’m probably just going to wear it around the house while watching The Sure Thing for the 100th time and drinking pints of Baileys’

‘Are you taking the mick?’

When no one else wants you to attend their party, the best thing you can do is throw your own. Which is what I did on Friday. In fine Christina McMc tradition, I donned my gay apparel, went for a slap up lunch, got my hair done and then sat around my house wearing this dress with a mud mask on and an Aperol Spritz. It was better than 90% of the office parties I’ve ever attended, plus I didn’t need a taxi to cart myself to bed.

gold-frankenstein-and-grrr

TOP: Marks and Spencer (old, but this is very similar)

DRESS: Primark

WATCH: Daisy Dixon (which was a very lovely gift from Yours)

EARRINGS: Accessorize

SHOES: Doc Martens

I didn’t mean to buy this dress. In fact, I’d only popped into Primark to pick up a pair of tights (‘I only meant to buy a pair of tights’ will probably be written on my grave.) But, then I caught it winking at me out of the corner of my eye, and it appealed to all my tackiest, most Magpie like instincts. I never could resist a good metallic item, particularly one with such a ridiculous split up the thigh.

As it is, this dress has turned out to be way more versatile than I initially envisaged. In the past two weeks, I’ve worn it for a wintry wander around Regent’s Park, to a friend’s birthday party and while undertaking a walk of shame through King’s Cross after the aforementioned birthday party. (NEVER drink absinthe readers. Learn from my fail.) Not bad for something which cost me a fiver.

gold-frankenstein-grrr-selfie

For my make-up, I kept it simple. Red lips, gold eyes, dab of highlighter. One of my greatest achievements of 2016 was finally overcoming my fear of eyeshadow. For years, I’d veered away from it as I could never make it look ‘elegant’. Turns out that all I needed was a decent palette, proper brushes (as opposed to my former technique of mushing it all onto my face with my little finger) and roughly 100 YouTube tutorials. Who knows? Maybe at this rate, 2017 will be the year I overcome my fear of false eyelashes. Merry Christmas everyone. 

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ASOS Curve, Bbloggers, Beauty, Beauty bloggers, Charlotte Tilbury, Jewellery, Junarose, Make Up, Marks and Spencer, office wear, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, Tatty Devine, what i wear to work

Grey Sunday

I’ve been in a bit of a bleak mood recently. Blame it on the achingly cold weather, the lack of natural sunlight or the fact that every time I look at the news, I want to curl up in the foetal position and wail, but I haven’t really felt like my best self. But, I’m a busy woman and I have important shit to do, so vacuum sealing myself inside a pillow fort for the foreseeable future isn’t really convenient. So, I did what I always do when I feel like the world is a flaming skip fire. I slapped on some eyeshadow, threw on a snuggly roll neck jumper and treated myself to a rather fancy brunch.

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ROLL NECK: Junarose 

TROUSERS: ASOS Curve (old)

BELT: ASOS Curve

SHOES: Marks and Spencer

NECKLACE: Tatty Devine

EARRINGS: Accessorize

Despite the vast amount of #dealz filled emails hitting my inbox, I managed to be quite restrained on Black Friday. Somehow, I managed to limit myself to only purchasing a sweatshirt, a belt and the Junarose roll neck you see here in the ASOS 20% off everything sale. Not that I needed much of an excuse to buy this roll neck mind you, it’s been sitting in my ‘saved’ items for longer than I care to admit.

grey-sunday-front-view

Like all Junarose items I’ve purchased, this roll neck is simple yet stylish. I love the soft, neutral grey colour (the exact shade of a freezing December sky) and it’s shaped really nicely. While I will never quite avoid the dreaded ‘shelf tit’ effect that larger boobed women such as myself are prone to, the cut and fit of it feel – forgive me here – flattering. While I love my body, I also feel remarkably self conscious about having very large breasts so any item of clothing which makes them look relatively proportional to the rest of my body is very welcome.

I’m wearing a ‘large’ here, mainly because I found it impossible to find an accurate size chart on Junarose or ASOS’s websites. I do wish retailers would realise that people appreciate being given accurate size guides, rather than just having to pick a size at random and praying for the best.

grey-sunday-selfie

My birthday gifts from my (utterly wonderful) husband were a delightfully snarky Laura Callaghan necklace from Tatty Devine and a gorgeous Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow palette in Legendary Muse. One of the most rewarding things I’ve done with my look this year is to experiment more with eye make-up, and I feel it’s really paid off with the look I’ve created here using Legendary Muse. The golds and green tinged yellow shades blend together to make the green-blue colour of my eyes really stand out. I’d recommend putting it on your Christmas list if you’d like Santa to stick some truly outstanding eyeshadow underneath your tree.

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Barcelona Beach Baby

Much like my beloved Liverpool, Barcelona is a city with its own beach. Frankly, it would have been rude for us not to pay it a quick visit. And while I promise that this will be my last ‘hey look everyone, I went to Barcelona!’ post, I feel like I’ve saved the best outfit for last.

barcelona-jumpsuit

JUMPSUIT: ASOS Curve

BELT: ASOS Curve (old, but this is similar!)

SANDALS: ASOS

NECKLACE: Tatty Devine (old, but this one is very similar!)

EARRINGS: Oliver Bonas

I’m mildly annoyed that I wasn’t able to take a killer outfit pic while I was wearing this jumpsuit because I love it so much. It looks like something I’d find being sold in Whistles, a store whose items I frequently lament over. (Seriously Whistles, extend your sizes and I will become one of your most devoted customers.) It’s loose and flowing, and the colours are gorgeous. The only – minor – quibble I have with it is that I wish it had a tie belt to define the waist, but this is more down to the way I’m shaped rather than any fatal design flaw.

barcelona-poseur

It’s my blog and I’ll pull a stupid face if I want to.

I so wish that more plus sized designers would create modern, vibrant pieces like this instead of thinking that we’re content with twee frills and bows, boxy shapeless tents and ‘cold shoulders’. (We may be fat, but don’t we deserve to have warm shoulders too? Do you know much it rains in the UK?)

barcelona-charlotte-tilbury-highlighter

I know that this has become a bit of a Charlotte Tilbury fan blog, but I’m in awe of how good her dreamy glow highlighter made me look. One quick swish of this stuff turned me into a golden glowing goddess, despite three days of late nights, giant gins and salty snacks.

The packaging is also divine, featuring a gorgeous picture of Carmen dell’Orefice shot by Norman Parkinson for Vogue, in the Bahamas. Norman Parkinson is one of my favourite fashion photographers, so I’ll be cherishing this compact long after the highlighter powder has run out. Sadly, this was limited edition, so isn’t being stocked by Charlotte Tilbury anymore. However, I’d seriously recommend taking a nosy around Ebay and seeing if you can snap one up. It’s that good.

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Beauty, books, Charlotte Tilbury, Face Masks, Five Friday Faves, Marks and Spencer, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, psbloggers, skirts

Five Friday Faves: 09.09.2016

Hey pals, how’s your week been? If I could sum mine up in two words, it would be ‘annoying’ and ‘sweaty’. The weather in Manchester recently has been a total soupy mess recently and I’m longing for crisp Autumn days, mugs of hot chocolate and the chance to wear a roll neck jumper in public again without becoming a giant melting mess. However, I have been cheered by the thought of eating a giant burrito for lunch and putting together this list of five Friday faves. This week’s picks include maps, books, skirts, purses and a small ode to the joy of face masks. Ready? Let’s get down to business then.

art-deco-london-map

ART DECO LONDON MAP – £8.00

I love interesting maps and this one from Blue Crow Media showcasing London’s art deco architecture is an absolute beauty. Frame it and put it on a wall, or use it as an excuse to grab some friends and embark on an adventure. If you’re looking for something a bit more austere, Blue Crow also do a map which showcases London’s brutalist architectural gems.

marks-and-spencer-pull-on-metallic-pencil-skirt

MARKS AND SPENCER PER UNA PULL ON METALLIC PENCIL SKIRT – £45.00

Marks and Spencer get a lot of stick from the fashion press. I always feel that this is a bit unfair because I – and many other remarkably fashionable people I know – adore their clothes. They were one of the first high street retailers to go up to a size 24 and their stuff tends to be well made, doesn’t fall apart after a few washes and fits well. Recently, I’ve gone all gooey eyed over this gorgeous pink pleated midi skirt (pink is the new power colour after all) and can’t wait to spend my September swishing around in it.

the-cool-hunter-alphabet-soup-printed-clutch

THE COOL HUNTER ALPHABET SOUP PRINTED CLUTCH – £67.00

Seeing as my idea of an ‘exciting night’ involves me drinking red wine and eating pizza in my pants, I’m not entirely sure how I ended up on a mailing list called ‘The Cool Hunter.’ But I’m glad I did as it introduced me to this gorgeous alphabet print clutch. It’s fun, it’s bright and according to their website, it’s roomy enough to accommodate the 25 lipsticks, three books and giant pair of headphones that I appear to be incapable of leaving the house without.

the-crime-writer-jill-dawson

READ JILL DAWSON’S ‘THE CRIME WRITER’

I’m a huge fan of Patricia Highsmith‘s books (such a wonderful mixture of queerness, glamour and evil deeds. If you haven’t read ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ go and do it now.) ‘The Crime Writer’ is a fictionalised account of her life based around the period of time she spent living in Suffolk. It merges Highsmith’s life and her fiction into a gloriously claustrophobic tale of love, murder and intrigue. Think ‘Carol’, but an alternative version of ‘Carol’ where they get to murder the husband and run off into the sunset together (or do they?) Grab a copy and a glass of scotch (Highsmith’s preferred tipple)  and spend your weekend in the company of one of the 20th century’s best female crime writers.

tony-moly-face-masks

TREAT YOURSELF TO A FACE MASK 

I have a Sunday ritual where I lock myself in my bathroom, light a scented candle, listen to the football on the radio and treat myself to a long hot bubble bath and a facial. They’re a great means of shutting yourself off from the world for a bit and indulging in a bit of pampering. I usually start off with a clay mask and then move on to shoving a sheet mask on and forgetting about it for half an hour while I snooze. When I was in Barcelona, I bought a vast amount of TonyMoly’s sheet masks. They come in a variety of different ‘flavours’ and always leave my skin feeling peachy keen and teentastic. I’d strongly recommend buying them in bulk online from places like Amazon or Ebay as it tends to work out cheaper than buying them individually.

If you’re super duper skint but still want to indulge, you can often request free face mask samples via the magic of the internet. I’ve got heaps of Charlotte Tilbury’s goddess skin mud mask sachets that I love slapping on when I’m away from home and fancy feeling a bit luxurious. The Body Shop will also give you free samples of their masks to try at home if you ask them nicely (I’m really digging their new Expert Face Masks range which happen to both smell lovely and work wonders on super sensitive skin like mine.)

What are your Friday faves? Let me know in the comments or by tweeting me at @christinamcmc with the hashtag #mcmcfridayfaves. And please follow me on Bloglovin’!

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and other stories, ASOS, ASOS Curve, Bbloggers, Beauty, Beauty bloggers, Charlotte Tilbury, fashion, look what you could have worn, Make Up, metallics, silver, summer dresses

Look What You Could Have Worn: Barcelona edition

 

 

I’m off to Barcelona tomorrow to celebrate my wedding anniversary (four whole years!) For the first time in my adult life, I am going to attempt to pack light which is no mean feat considering I am notorious for a) leaving my packing until the last minute and b) throwing my entire wardrobe into my suitcase ‘just in case.’ ‘Just in case what?’ you might ask. Well, not even I know the answer to that question, but I am slowly trying to convince myself that a four day trip does not require me to pack 50+ lipsticks. On a more practical note, Ryanair rinsed me of cash earlier this year when my suitcase weighed way more than their allotted allowance. Something has to give, and this time, it cannot be my credit card.

To paraphrase one of my favourite memes, I intend to ‘get me some items which can do both.’ The both being outfits which will allow me to look cool and chic while exploring some of Spain’s most glorious architecture and are voluminous enough to allow me to consume my own bodyweight in cava and tapas. The ASOS minimal jumpsuit and New Look Shift Dress are both simple and chic, requiring nothing more than some simple silver jewellery, a slash of lipstick and a decent belt to make them both look exquisite. Robust, flat sandals are a must when going on holiday in a warm climate, and these ASOS Wide Fit leather sandals will go with pretty much everything.

While I realise that this is rapidly becoming a Charlotte Tilbury fan blog, her Beach Sticks deserve a mention here as they’re the perfect item to shove in your make-up bag if you’re looking for a cream blush which also works as a lipstick. Her Formentera shade is a beautifully dewy shade of rose which works really well if you have blue-green eyes like me. I’ve also been lucky enough to nab a few samples of Acqua di Parma’s new Rosa Nobile fragrance, a delicate grown-up rose fragrance which puts me in mind of warm summer nights rather than a Yardley counter.

If you’re going on holiday to celebrate the long weekend, which clothing and beauty essentials will you be taking with you? Let me know in the comments!

(From left to right)

  1. Acqua di Parma Rosa Nobile – £76.00

  2. Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in ‘Formentera’ – £30.00

  3. Mango Panel Tote Bag – £15.99

  4. ASOS Cat Eye Sunglasses With Built Up Highbrow – £8.00
  5. And Other Stories Toga Earrings – £17.00
  6. And Other Stories Medallion Pendant Necklace – £19.00
  7. ASOS JUGGLER Wide Fit Leather Summer Shoes – £20.00
  8. ASOS CURVE 2 Pack Cat Buckle Belt – £8.00
  9. ASOS CURVE Minimal Jumpsuit in Blocked Abstract Print – £45.00
  10. New Look Plus Cami Slip Dress – £19.99
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