Beauty, Beauty Bakerie, fashion, Jewellery, jumpers, lipstick, Marks and Spencer, ootd, Outfit post, outfits, Primark, skirts, Toolally Jewellery

Pink to make the girls wink

It’s been a while.

For various reasons, this blog has been on hiatus over the past few weeks. I didn’t have the energy or compulsion to write about what I was wearing when everything around me felt like it was on fire. During this time, my Dad left hospital, got pneumonia, had to go back into hospital but is now home and back to WhatsApping me bad jokes on the regular. I started my own business, won some work and celebrated by dying my fringe pink. I ate a lot of cheese. I met some great cats. Life continued.

But I miss blogging. When you spend your whole day working with words, sometime it’s nice to just write for yourself. And it’s not like I’ve stopped wearing clothes after all.

pink-to-make-the-girls-wink

JUMPER: Marks & Spencer

PLEATED SKIRT: Marks & Spencer (old, but this is similar)

LEATHER JACKET: ASOS Curve

SHOES: Primark (old)

HANDBAG: Osprey London (old)

EARRINGS: Toolally (old – but these are exceptionally similar)

I’ve never really been one for convention and – despite his love of all things blue – I’d like to think that Yves Klein would have appreciated the coordinating ensemble I wore to go and view an exhibition of his work at Tate Liverpool last week. Not least because of this truly awesome Marks and Spencer jumper. It’s so delightfully femme – the colour of blushed cheeks on a cold day, super soft (pulling it on makes me feel like I’m wearing a hug) and, best of all, has some incredibly silly sleeves.

puffy-sleeves

An old selfie, but I just really wanted to show you how good those sleeves are.

Despite not really being one for frills and flounces, I was drawn to these sleeves like a moth to a puffy flame. They are ridiculous. They get into everything and they’re a bugger to wear with my leather jacket. Yet, they’re the type of frivolous design quirk that makes me brim with joy. To be honest, it’s nice to be able to see something that’s fun for people of most shapes and sizes and which doesn’t involve the dreaded ‘cold shoulders’ (probably my least favourite plus sized trend of all time.)

pink-to-make-the-boys-wink

I found these awesome earrings from Toolally on sale at my local branch of John Lewis and immediately snapped them up. As a lover of the 1960s – and gigantic earrings – I adore all of Toolally’s stuff. These just happen to go perfectly with my hair which is remarkably handy. Add a touch of Beauty Bakerie’s ‘Take me for Pomegranate’ and you’ve got a look which is guaranteed to make both the girls – and the boys – wink.

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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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Animal print, Beauty, Beauty bloggers, dresses, L'Oreal, Leopard print, lipstick, Marks and Spencer, Monki, Plus sized, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, psbloggers, Topshop

34

I turned 34 last Tuesday. 34 doesn’t feel like a real age. It sounds far too grown up, the kind of age that ‘real’ adults are, rather than overgrown teenagers like myself. In my head, I’m still a scruffy 21 year old who mooches around in ill fitting clothes while attempting to make a living by writing overwrought features about post-rock bands rather than a middle aged woman who wears slightly better fitting clothes while trying to make a living by (terrifyingly) starting up her own business. It’s a lot.

Of course, being a proper grown up, I ameliorated these fears in a rational and adult manner. By which, I mean I went for a very fancy lunch, hung out with some cats, went to a gig in a cathedral and had a McDonalds on the way home. I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday.

34-1

COAT: Marks & Spencer

DRESS: Alexa Chung for Marks & Spencer

SHOES: Marks & Spencer

NECKLACE: Topshop (old)

EARRINGS: Monki (old)

HANDBAG: Kate Spade (old)

34-3

I was a bit devastated recently to hear the news that the clothing arm of Marks & Spencer is experiencing some difficulties. As you may have gathered, I absolutely adore Marks & Spencer. Their underwear is comfy, their jeans fit my weird hips and butt area like they were moulded around them and I know their stuff won’t fall apart after a few wears (unlike some brands I’ve encountered recently – River Island, I’m looking at you here.)

Their recent Alexa Chung collection, where she revisited designs from their archives, has been a bit of an eye opener to my chubby self. Seeing as they stopped at size 18, I fully expected not to fit into any of her items. Hence why I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I could easily fit into this size 16 shirt dress (which, according to a Twitter friend of mine, makes me look like a ’80s space dominatrix’) with room to spare. While I’m well aware that I’m being pandered to via some serious vanity sizing, I’ve never been pandered to so effectively. The only parts in which it falls down is that it creases remarkably easily and its silky fabric makes it a bugger to wear when you’re drunk as you’ll end up sliding off pub stools and onto the floor while mid conversation. You can probably all guess how I discovered this.

it-me-november-2016

I realise that this outfit doesn’t resemble the ones above, but I feel it would be a dereliction of beauty blogger duty not to mention L’Oreal’s Colour Riche lipstick in Blake Red. It’s the most perfect, carmine red I’ve ever found and knocks socks off pretty much everything else I’ve ever tried (and yes, that does include MAC’s Russian Red, a lipstick so matte it feels like you’re trying to drag a crayon across your lips.) It’s beautifully creamy, costs a mere £6.99 and stayed on throughout a challenging 2 hour tattoo session last Saturday. Frankly, it’s one of those bargain high street beauty buys that thrifty types like myself live for. Apparently, L’Oreal are discontinuing it, so I’d recommend buying it in bulk now, if only to provide a pop of colour in these increasingly grey times.

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Animal print, Autumn, Beauty bloggers, coats, Jewellery, lipstick, MAC, Make Up, Make Up Revolution, Marks and Spencer, metallics, Monki, ootd, Outfit post, outfits, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, psbloggers, skirts, Topshop, wiwt, Work outfit, Work wear

Luxury Witch

Recently, I attended a job interview where I found myself explaining the concept of a ‘Luxury Witch’ to a rather bemused interview panel. ‘Imagine a really well dressed Goth who takes Ubers everywhere,’ I exclaimed before informing them that crushed velvet and pleated skirts were really in this season. They’re yet to let me know if I’ve been offered the job.

Whatever happens with my employment prospects, I’m deeply happy to have introduced the concept of ‘Luxury Witch’ to a wider audience. And – if this term ever appears in the Oxford English Dictionary – you’d probably find a picture of this outfit underneath it.

luxury-witch-leopard-print-coat

COAT: Marks and Spencer

ROLL NECK: Marks and Spencer

PLEATED SKIRT: Marks and Spencer

BELT: Vintage

BOOTS: Topshop

EARRINGS: Monki

roll-neck

My love of Marks and Spencer’s clothing runs deep – I will go to my grave arguing that they make the comfiest underwear on the market – and they are really knocking it out of the park this season. Their stuff is chic, reasonably priced and doesn’t fall apart after a few rounds in the washing machine (handy when you spill as much down yourself as I do). They do great everyday basics and on trend pieces like this gloriously witchy metallic midi skirt and leopard print coat, both of which look far more luxurious than their price tags would lead you to believe. Plus, M&S remains the only shop I can pop into during my lunch hour where I can purchase moisturiser, a skirt and a sandwich at the same time. What a time to be alive.

luxury-witch

In the spirit of Halloween, I opted to experiment with my eye make-up and try out a more dramatic look. I used Make Up Revolution’s ‘Fortune Favours The Brave’ palette (an absolute bargain at £9.99) to recreate this gorgeous rose gold smokey eye look. I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to eyeshadow, but this is such a lovely (and easy!) tutorial to follow. While it’s not quite as elegant as Nancy’s,  I’m super pleased about how well it turned out.

I completed the look with MAC’s ‘Roxo‘, a limited edition blood red lipstick. While this particular shade is sold out on their website, I’m fairly sure that you could find lots of lovely dupes without searching too hard.

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and other stories, Autumn, Beauty, Beauty bloggers, fashion, jumpers, lipstick, Make Up, Marks and Spencer, MDMFlow, personal style, Plus sized, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, Primark, psbloggers

Autumn Leaves

After a year which could charitably be deemed to be ‘a bit difficult’, I am freaking overjoyed that Autumn is finally here. It’s always been my favourite season, mostly because it feels like a new beginning, that bigger and better things – crisp cold days! Big coats! Opaque tights! Excuses to make soup! My birthday!  – are just around the corner. It also means that I can legitimately purchase all the jumpers I’ve been swooning over for the past few weeks.

autumn-leaves-full-body-selfie-1

JUMPER: Marks & Spencer

JEANS: Marks & Spencer

SHOES: Primark

NECKLACE: Oliver Bonas (old)

EARRINGS: And Other Stories (old)

autumn-leaves-full-body-selfie-2

The theme for Autumn 2016 on the high street appears to be ‘Barb from Stranger Things chic’ which is an aesthetic that I can totally get on board with. The ultra femme side of me loves frills and flounces in all the right places, even more so if they come in delicious shades of mustard, like this Marks and Spencer jumper. Everything about this is perfect, from the lovely ribbed details to the fact that it’s just the right length to wear with jeans. Too short jumpers are a big bugbear of mine, as there’s nothing worse than leaving the house feeling your look, only to spend your afternoon constantly tugging your top down.

I paired this with my trusty skinny jeans (MARKS AND SPENCER, NEVER STOP MAKING THESE) and a pair of gold block heels from Primark, which – surprisingly – happen to be the comfiest pair of heels that I have worn in a long time. So much so in fact, that I recently managed to spend a whole weekend in them while lugging a wheelie suitcase around North London.

autumn-selfie

My new favourite lipstick at the moment is Supreme from MDMFlow, a rich warm reddish pink which is perfect for the season. I’ve been raving about MDMFlow’s make up for a while now, as it’s everything I love in a beauty brand. It offers affordable products in bright bold colours, all created by a bad ass woman of colour. I am in total awe of Florence Adepoju, the woman behind the brand and I totally recommend reading this brilliant Buzzfeed piece about her. If you’re thinking about tinkering with your look this Autumn, their products are a great place to start.

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and other stories, ASOS, Beauty, Beauty bloggers, dresses, fashion, fat positivity, lipstick, Monki, New Look, ootd, Outfit post, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, plus sized summer dresses, psbloggers, Sephora, summer dresses, wiwt

A Shift of Opinion

As I mentioned in my last post, I went to Barcelona for my wedding anniversary last week. Barcelona has quickly become one of my favourite European cities, mainly because it contains a beach, glorious architecture, incredible art, stunning food and Gin & Tonics as large as a small child’s head. I’ve not had the easiest year for a number of reasons, but on Saturday night I sat in a Absinthe bar which looked like something Hemmingway would have passed out in, laughing at stupid jokes with Mr. McMc and felt a perfect happiness, the likes of which I haven’t felt in a long time. I’m already planning my return trip.

Unsurprisingly, I also wore some really good outfits. Like this simple shift dress from New Look.

Barcelona - shift dress with sunglasses

SUNGLASSES: ASOS (The ones I’m wearing here are out of stock, but these are very similar)

NECKLACE: Monki

EARRINGS: And Other Stories

DRESS: New Look

HANDBAG: Liquorish (old)

SHOES: ASOS

2016 has been the year where I break arbitrary fat girl fashion rules (e.g. ‘don’t get your arms out!’ and ‘always cinch your waist!’) and while this shift dress may look simple, it packs a real punch in the looks department. It’s so simple that you can dress it up or down any way you like. I decided to keep it simple(ish), pairing it with some metallic accessories and a killer red lipstick. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get any pictures of its lovely cut out back design, which gives it a bit more pizazz than your average plain back shift dress.

Barcelona - shift dress without sunglasses

ASOS shoes don’t have the best reputation in my house, owing to the fact that I do so much walking (and have such heavy feet) that I tend to wear through them in record time. I’m actually shocked that these flat sandals held up as well as they did seeing that we were walking around eight miles a day – albeit with the occasional beer and tapas break.

Barcelona - Sephora Red

I also discovered that Spain has branches of Sephora, which I was drawn to like a moth is drawn to a flame (coloured lipstick). I only meant to buy some hand wash, but came out with a hand wash, three TonyMoly face masks, a Marc Jacobs eyeliner and this incredible ‘always red’ Cream Lip Stain which does not come off. In the interests of beauty blogger ‘research’, I tested its resilience with kissing, boozing and eating and it barely flaked. Once again, I am cursing the fact that we no longer have Sephora’s in the UK. Although saying that, it’s probably a good thing, as if we did there’s a strong likelihood I’d end up bankrupt.

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Bbloggers, Beauty bloggers, Charlotte Tilbury, lipstick, Make Up, Make Up Revolution

In the Pink

I am an absolute lipstick fiend. I tend to carry (at least) ten in my handbag at any time and that’s before we count the fifty or so I have in my makeup organiser at home. To quote Charlotte Tilbury, they are happiness in a tube. I pride myself on having a different lipstick for every mood, and I never feel entirely put together until I put some on.

At the moment, I’m loving pinks, so I thought I’d showcase two I’ve bought recently – one for a daytime ‘work friendly’ look and one which is a bit more daring.

Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips

My love for Charlotte Tilbury’s makeup has been well documented here over the past few years. All of her products are absolutely gorgeous, great on super sensitive skin and look so luxe. Pulling out a tube of her lipstick on the train to work always makes me feel that little bit more glamorous, like Jane Russell in ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ if she was trying to put on her lippy on the 7.25am to Manchester Piccadilly.

Secret Salma

I visited her makeup concession at John Lewis in Liverpool last Saturday with a view to picking up a tube of mascara. I ended up leaving with mascara, lipstick, a bag full of samples and a pretty stunning day look. I’m posting this here for posterity, because I will probably never look this good in a post-hangover-post-yoga-class fug ever again.

Here, I’m wearing her ‘Hot Lips’ lipstick in ‘Secret Salma.’ It’s a beautiful shade of warm  rosy pink which was developed for someone with darker colouring than me, but really brings out the blue in my eyes. While it’s very matte, it feels like cashmere on my lips and has real lasting power. I’ve found that it can withstand my morning breakfast routine of a bagel and a coffee, which is impressive work. At £23, it’s not the cheapest, but I’d definitely recommend picking one of these up if you’re feeling flush and in need of a treat.

Make Up Revolution

On the more budget end of the scale, we have Make Up Revolution’s Salvation Lip Lacquer in ‘Rebel,’ aka ‘the shade of fuchsia I didn’t know I needed until I saw it.’ Make Up Revolution is one of the best budget beauty brands out there. Their stuff is incredible considering how little it costs.  Their lip lacquers appear to be an updated version of the lip velvets that are a great dupe of Lime Crime and Lip Tar’s products. While I would have liked slightly more staying power from their lip velvet (I found that using a lip liner on top gave it slightly more staying power), it went on pretty easily, was remarkably pigmented and didn’t make my lips dry out. Plus, it was £3 which is a ridiculous price for something so good.

You can find Make Up Revolution’s products in most branches of Superdrug and I totally recommend picking a few of these up if you feel like experimenting with bold colours.

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