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.

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COAT: Marks & Spencer

DRESS: Alexa Chung for Marks & Spencer

SHOES: Marks & Spencer

NECKLACE: Topshop (old)

EARRINGS: Monki (old)

HANDBAG: Kate Spade (old)

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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.

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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.

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COAT: Marks and Spencer

ROLL NECK: Marks and Spencer

PLEATED SKIRT: Marks and Spencer

BELT: Vintage

BOOTS: Topshop

EARRINGS: Monki

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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.

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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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Jewellery, Monki, ootd, Outfit post, outfits, Plus sized, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, psbloggers, Topshop

Eye Eye, McMc

Since my last post, I have a) lost my job, b) suddenly decided to go freelance, c) had my wifi box blow up and d) developed a rather irritating twitch in my left eye which just won’t quit. Honestly, it’s all been a bit exhausting. Thankfully, I was able to alleviate some of this stress by jumping on a train and heading to Glasgow – one of my favourite cities – last weekend. If you have never visited Glasgow, I cannot stress enough all the reasons why you should, such as amazing buildings, stunning scenery, excellent bars and (my personal favourite) haggis pakoras. If I had my way, all Saturday nights out would end with eating a bag of mixed pakora in bed while watching ‘Colombo’.

Seeing as I was going to be spending a lot of time walking and eating, I wanted to wear something extremely comfortable yet extremely fashionable. This excellent tunic dress and David Bowie-esque boots outfit felt like the perfect fit.

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DRESS: Monki

EARRINGS: Monki

BOOTS: Topshop

BAG: Liverpool Psych Fest

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The pattern on this polo neck dress is so unique (very Schiaparelli!) and it looks so great worn over opaque tights. I also absolutely adore these Topshop silver boots.Like me, they’re a little bit business and a little bit ridiculous. I’ve barely taken them off since I bought them.They were an impulse panic buy after I left a pair of comfy shoes in a hotel room after a night on the champagne (If you’re thinking I live a life of glamour and excitement, I can assure you that I would only wish the hungover & panicked train dash I was forced to do the next day on my worst enemy).

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While I’ve always been a huge Monki fan, they really have been absolutely killing it in the style stakes recently and I want pretty much everything from their new collection. I was also overjoyed to see fellow blogger (and style icon) Danielle Vanier featured in their new campaign, proving that it’s not just straight sized people who can rock their excellent clothes.

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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.

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JUMPER: Marks & Spencer

JEANS: Marks & Spencer

SHOES: Primark

NECKLACE: Oliver Bonas (old)

EARRINGS: And Other Stories (old)

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Who wears short shorts?

I’ve been back in the UK for a week and my holiday feels like it was a very long time ago. But that isn’t going to stop me posting another Barcelona outfit. I’m not really one for shorts, preferring to waft around in floaty skirts and dresses when it’s warm outside. When I was a kid in the early 90s, I loved stomping around in shorts and Doc Marten boots, much to the horror of my parents who were always convinced that I’d end up getting some extremely localised foot sunstroke (although I’m yet to discover a medical affliction caused by stomping around seaside resorts while looking like a mini Tank Girl.)

Of course, now I am all grown up and sensible, you’d never find me conducting myself in such a manner. After all, why stomp around in Doc Martens when you can stomp around in silver sandals?

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

NECKLACE: Meri Meri

EARRINGS: Mango

T-SHIRT: Junarose

SHORTS: ASOS

HANDBAG: Liquorish (old)

SHOES: ASOS

Yup, that is my stomach outline that you can see through those shorts, and pretty magnificent it is too. I felt slightly self conscious about it when I first wore these but after five minutes, I discovered that they were so comfy (and cute) that it didn’t really matter.

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While they’re fairly true to size, the waist is elasticated, meaning that they’ve got a bit of give to them. I also managed to wear them for an extended period of time without getting the dreaded chub rub – no mean feat when you’re doing lots of walking. This is the second summer holiday I’ve taken these on this year and they’re as good for lounging around on a beach as they are for wandering around European cities.

Unfortunately, as I was writing this blog post, these shorts sold out (how inconsiderate!) If you’re interested in them, I’d recommend hanging around the ASOS website to see if there are any returns in your size, or investing in this equally lovely pair.

Palm leaves and pineapples

I’ve just discovered Mango’s excellent range of jewellery and picked up these lovely – and remarkably inexpensive – earrings in their recent sale. I definitely recommend taking a look at their stuff if you fancy nabbing an office wear friendly bargain.

 

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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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