Friday, 17 January 2020

December 2019 Favourites:

Hey guys!

First things first, Happy New Year! Welcome to 2020! I can't believe this is my first post of the new year/decade, but I've had some university work to catch up on hence why it's been a lil quiet!
I hope you're all well and had an amazing December and Christmas season! I'm always pretty heartbroken when it's all over as it is my fave time of year! It's definitely my favourite time of year, mostly the second part of the year are actually my highlights! I'll get right into it, here are my faves from December!


LMX Matte Lip  - Cherry Pie
My Christmas Day lip of choice this year, I absolutely love the shade of red this is, a very true red is how I'd describe it, and as mentioned previously, the LMX formula remains being as amazing as I remembered from previous products.

LMX Jesy Viva Volume Lashes
I don't remember if I've ever posted about these but omg these are some stunners! Big, bold yet effortlessly gorgeous, these lashes are amazing! I need to try the rest of the LM lashes out but I can see these being my faves.

Eylure Definition 128 Lashes:
I used these for my birthday and think they missed out on a spot in my Faves but I used them during the seasonal period and I just love how long and feminine they look. I had my eyes on them for a while as I remembered seeing Janette Manrara from Strictly wearing them on her Instagram story, I think she wore them on one of hers and Aljaz's tours. Nonetheless, they look amazing on and I have no regrets buying them.

Technic  Nail Varnish - Starkers
This nail polish stood out to me when I was having a little browse and I absolutely adore it. It looks so nice on and works as a great pinky nude shade. Deffo one I'm glad I decided to pick up!

Craig David ft Tinchy Stryder - Where's Your Love?
Little Mix - One I've Been Missing
The Pussycat Dolls - We Went As Far As We Felt Like Going
Olly Murs ft Snoop Dogg - Moves
NSG ft Tion Wayne - Options
MoStack ft Dolapo - Make Me Fall In Love & You Can Keep Me Forever

Shagged, Married, Annoyed
I'm not particularly a podcast listener, but I gave Rosie and Chris Ramsey's podcast and absolutely obsessed, they are both so funny. I've always thought Chris was funny but having seen him on Strictly, I feel like I've really enjoyed seeing him on that so gave the podcast a go and was very much glad I did. The podcasts are hilarious and the structure of them couldn't be better. The pair of them crack me up and I can't believe I went so long without this podcast!


Bailey's Chocolates
I can't remember if I've ever tried the Bailey's drink but I was kindly gifted some Bailey's chocs from one of my gals for Christmas and oh my they are so good! So tasty! They were thoroughly enjoyed tell me tell you!

Well that's my final Faves post for the last year! I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and second half of the year! Next one will be my first faves post of the decade!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Let's Reflect: 2019

Hi everyone!

We're here again, I can't believe the time has come for my Let's Reflect 2019 post! And this time it's not just the year 2019 that we are leaving behind but the 2010s decade too, which is a weird one to think about! We're heading into the 2020s?! My reflection posts are usually some of my favourites to write and this one is no exception! I am a sucker for reflecting on things so I've been ready to write this post for a while!

2019 has really been quite an interesting one for me, it's had some incredible, absolutely unbelievable highs but also some really tricky, mentally draining lows too. I'll try and address these within this post as I usually discuss and sum up how my year has gone. 2019 really did provide me with a huge spectrum of emotions and thoughts about myself. It's only really when I look back at some of the events of this year that I begin to realise just how much has happened.

One of the first big steps I took during 2019, was when I went to Leeds for the night in February, I was there for a Masters Open Day at Uni of Leeds and also had a night out with one of my school friends who studied there. I was really proud of myself for going and for being calm and not allowing my anxiety or stomach to better me. I really enjoyed my time there and it put me in a really good mood and I felt so proud of myself. I'd love to go back there for a weekend sometime. Travelling is never easy for me unfortunately, but this was deffo a good experience for me. I didn't end up going to Leeds for masters, but it's deffo a place I'll be back at in the future for sure!

Another aspect of 2019, was one of my uni modules which I did at the start of the year! We had to help a business essentially with our own skills, which let me tell you, was very scary at first! Pitching your own skills to a completely new business you've never spoken to before was very daunting, but I had a very lovely experience. I helped with a local craft shop, took photos of the classes they did and some of their stock whilst producing bits for their social medias. I do credit that module for me having the confidence to do some of the things I did this year and it was a great experience and they were very lovely to me!

One of the biggest projects I took on during this year was my end of uni dissertation! I'm going to be completely honest here, when I first started it, I was very lost! I felt very out of my depth, had no idea what was going on, had an emergency meeting with my dissertation tutor pretty much in extreme panic mode, basically not having a clue what I was doing for it, how to do it or if I even knew what I was going to write about. Choosing a subject you're passionate about is SO important as you need to be able to write a lot of words on it and my chosen subject was reality television.
Slowly but surely, progress came and with many, long hours, and one all nighter in my university's library, I handed it in. I'm not particularly the best academically and my journey at uni in my essays has not been the easiest ride, but I cannot tell you the pure shock on my face when I opened my dissertation result and saw that I'd gotten a First. It was probably one of the proudest moments of my life, that made me feel honestly SO proud. I really did work so hard on that dissertation and to be honest I'm still a little shook that I pulled it off. I'm putting together a blog post about Dissertations, so stay tuned for that for advice! Academically, it's my proudest piece of work.

Now onto the most exciting moment of 2019! I still can't quite believe that this happened... but upon discovering at my uni that there were volunteering opportunities at Radio 1's Big Weekend, I put my name down not sure of how it would go but got a phone interview after my initial form and managed to get a placement! I was working with the photographers who were taking pictures of the first few songs of each act. So I helped lead them onto the stage, stood by the side as they took the pictures, before going with them off back to the tent. It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life and one of the happiest weekends I had this year! It was amazing. It was so fascinating seeing the festival from both behind the scenes and from the crowd. It really makes you appreciate how much work goes into big productions like that!
I even got to see Charli XCX, who I've been listening to over the last couple of years and Little Mix again, which I was hugely excited about! I didn't unfortunately get to see all of Little Mix's set as I was still doing my placement when they played so I only saw 3 of their tracks, but I had finished my shift by the time of Charli XCX's. It wasn't easy as it was a very busy crowd, even though we were near the back near the exit, it was not the easiest, but getting to see her really spurred me on to cope. She is an amazing performer and I love her.
I still cannot believe how strong and how determined I was, as it actually came around the lowest point of the year, when I was struggling to leave the house because of my anxiety/stomach. I am so proud of myself for it because believe me, it was not easy and I was questioning about how I had been virtually housebound/struggling to leave the house the month before and now I was walking into the complete unknown... helping at a festival?!
My favourite part of the whole experience besides working with the amazing team I did, was getting a photo with Perrie from Little Mix! I still can't quite believe that happened but my I'm glad it did! It was completely incredible and she was such a sweetheart even if it was a very brief meeting! She's truly a ray of sunshine! And that of course made my whole experience a million times better!

Following on from my dissertation achievement, I was absolutely shook to discover I'd managed to get a first class degree, and would be graduating!
Considering the limited self-belief I held for myself, receiving that was a huge boost for me. As mentioned, I've never been the most academic, never really been at the top of the grade scale, I started university with no confidence, having scraped getting onto the course, convincing myself I was going for the experience and that the degree wasn't a big thing for me. That did fade fairly quickly and I realised I could better myself and upon starting Third Year, I told myself I wanted to get a First. It wasn't something I felt I could do, but I wished so hard and really did try to make it happen. Somehow here I was graduating?!
Graduation had stressed me out and been a big worry of mine pretty much since joining uni, but the day itself was so heart-warming and special. I realised how much I would miss my coursemates as we were a small course so we were close as a cohort. I really enjoyed graduation and it was a huge proud moment for me.

So that leads me on to the next stage of what I'm up to at the moment, I'm back doing a Masters degree! That alone is something I never quite imagined would happen, and to be honest it was a last minute decision! I think deep down I knew I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do and once I'd received my undergrad degree, it gave me the confidence to expand myself and I am already seeing the progress I've made from starting an Undergrad degree, to starting a Masters degree. It definitely takes pressure off, knowing I've managed to get myself that Undergrad degree. So far, it's been a bit of a strange ride, workwise, but I don't regret doing the Masters degree at all. I know it was the right thing for me to do. It's also a hell of a mouthful of a course, which anyone looks at me a bit weirdly after I've said it! It's Digital Media and Communications.

One thing I noticed was after finishing my course and receiving my grade and after how amazing I felt after Big Weekend, my mindset shifted. I can honestly say I haven't felt like that in a long time. I was waking up everyday being so positive about myself and felt like I was finally practising self-care to a level which was actually making me feel good. It faltered a little for some of the end of the year but the fact it happened at all is very big! I hope I get to continue this as the feeling I carried around that time was so self satisfying. It's nice to be able to look back on it though, especially as I remember how bad my mental health was during the later part of the summer last year.

One of my other massive achievements of 2019 comes in the form of my blogging! I'm very proud to say that I did my very first gifted blogging post this year. It was an honour to team up with FunkyPigeon and they were so lovely, and truly an amazing first gifting experience. When I began blogging, it wasn't necessarily something I expected to happen to me, as I've gotten older and this blog has grown with me and I would love it if I could class it as a proper job instead of just a hobby, but it's never been something I've done solely to receive anything. If it happens it happens, blogging makes me happy. Receiving gifted or paid opportunities is amazing but I have been blogging anyway! As you can probably see as it's taken me 6 years to get my first one, it meant so much to me and I'm so grateful for it.

One of my most recent achievements was seeing Little Mix in concert in October. I really badly struggled at the last LM show I went to, in 2016, which was my last actual concert before this. My anxiety was troubling me, and I was very worried to go to another concert after because of it.
I was so desperate to see the girls, as I've mentioned before LM5 is my favourite album of theirs and I've listened to it pretty much all the time over this last year. Despite booking the tickets super late, I had an amazing time and the show itself was incredibly well put together and thought out, even if they did miss out some of my faves from the actual album. The girls never fail to put on an amazing show and they wowed me! Deffo a highlight of the year!

Thinking about my year summed up, I really feel that the common theme of this year was strength.
And possibly resilience. When I think back to my worst days this year and feeling pretty much stuck inside my house some days, feeling so frustrated about my body and my mind, I wonder how I managed to achieve this. I yearn to carry on the extreme positivity and mindset I had during those summer months, and the proudness of myself I felt when I got my degree.
I think this year for the first time in a very long time, I started to be positive to myself. During the summer I was naturally stopping myself being negative about myself and tried to properly exercise "self-love" which has been very foreign to me for so long.
I'm really glad for 2019 and what it's brought me even though it hasn't always been easy at times!
As for closing and rounding this post up, what I really hope to do in 2020 and for the rest of my time at university is definitely properly get to grips with some of the software/camera and podcast equipment. It's something I really don't feel confident with at the moment and know I really have to improve. It's probably one of my biggest goals, as it's something I realised when I finished my Undergrad degree that I needed more practice/knowledge of.
I hope in 2020, that I get practice self-love a lot more and make it a priority in my life. I know it's so important, as I discovered how much it benefitted me during last summer.

Thank you so much for reading this post! And I hope you have a happy new year and that 2020 treats you well! Also a massive thank you for all of the support throughout 2019 on both here and on my Instagram ( @eclairscares ), it means so much to me, as my blog really is my baby and something I've really been trying hard and working on for many years now! I also hope that this decade provides amazing things for me, we can pray!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

Monday, 23 December 2019

My Red Lipstick Collection

Hi everyone!

Welcome back to my blog, today's post is focused around my red lipsticks, which are a huge statement around this time of year! I did a post last year where I talked you through my nude lipstick collection so I thought I'd give you a walkthrough of my reds! A red lip is a key part of the festive makeup and it's certainly something I love to rock around the Christmas festivities!

NYX - Kitten Heels
One of my most favourite reds to wear, it's a bright beautiful red that lasts so well and is matte and stays put which I love. It's my go-to red these days and one I really value in my collection!

Rimmel Kate Moss - 01
I mentioned this recently in my Makeup Throwback post, it was my first ever red lipstick and although I don't use it much anymore, it is still one I remember fondly and will probably end up using again in the future!

The Body Shop - Scarlet Steel Metal Liquid Lip
I absolutely adore this red lippy as the metallic look it gives, it's something that none of my other red lipsticks give, making it unique in my collection!

NYX Liquid Suede - Cherry Skies
My second NYX product of this post, Cherry Skies is a darker more vampy red, which I have a huge amount of love for. As mentioned earlier with regard to Kitten Heels, the NYX Liquid Suede lipsticks give you such good colour payoff and they're so pretty.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream - Morocco
A super creamy formula, this lip cream is the ultimate orangey-red. It's less of a true red and more of a bright red and I think it looks nice, but isn't my preferred red shade. None the less, I love how soft it feels on the lips but it doesn't have the staying power the Liquid Suede ones have.

LMX - Chocolate Chilli
Another dark vampy red, this is one hell of a red! It's one from the new LMX Get Lippy set and I feel like it's such a nice shade for this time of year! Obsessed!

LMX - Cherry Pop
This is actually the newest edition to my red lippy collection and I've not actually used it yet! I've swatched it and it looks like a gorgeous bright red, and so I can't wait to wear this for Christmas this year. The LMX formula is brilliant and so impressive for what I was expecting. I have a feeling this will be a favourite of mine!

So there we have my reds collection! I hope you've enjoyed reading! I do have 2 more red lipsticks, Clinique's Cherry Pop and a Fearne Cotton red lipstick, although I can't seem to find them at the moment!

I hope you enjoyed reading!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

Tuesday, 17 December 2019


Hey everyone!

I hope you're having an amazing festive season so far. This post is something I've thought of in my head, of things that I think it's important to remember during this festive season as it's such a busy yet joyful time of year, it can leave some people feeling a bit rundown or stressed, here's few things to try and take note of to ensure your festive season leaves you in a positive head-space!

If you're going to be surrounded by any strong-minded family or friends this year, which can be mentally draining, try to remain civil. An argument at the Christmas dinner table isn't ideal, even though it can be hard not to strike back. Try and be as civil as you can. Even when it's tough!

If you're feeling lonely, try and show you care to the ones around you. It's easy to forget how much those around you mean to you and showing appreciation and love is one of the spirits of Christmas. Surrounding yourself with the most important people to you is so important. Even if you're working or spending Christmas alone, make sure you spread love to those around you.

Obviously take care if you have stomach issues like me, but don't be afraid to indulge in the foods you can eat. It's Christmas and it's the time of year you're perfectly allowed to have a little more than you usually would. I know everyone's diets are different and some things are off the cards for health reasons or sport reasons if you're athletic, but allow yourself a bit of a treat this festive season.

A lot of us may feel uncomfortable being in photos around this time of year, but try not to allow it to overshadow the fact you're creating memories and others around you might want to capture it. After all, some day you might only have the photos to remind you of the times!

Please make sure you don't overdo it and allow yourself time to recharge your batteries! It's something that you may want to do ,squeeze everything in but end up feeling completely run down and mentally drained. Allow yourself time for yourself, time to rest and time to sleep. It's a very busy time of year and self-care is as important as ever! Especially going into January!
I hope you've found this post helpful! Let me know any other things you're going to remember over this festive season!

Thank you so much for reading!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

The Cracking Christmas Tag

Hey there!

Welcome back to my blog! This post is a little later than planned as it was originally set for November but now it's December so I'm definitely not offending any Scrooges now! Here we have the Cracking Christmas Tag, which I found by chance from OhHelloIt'sHannah. I do love Christmas so much here on my blog so when I found a Christmas tag post I'd not already completed, I decided what better way to kick off the festive season than bring one out eh?

Weirdest family Christmas tradition?

I don't think we have any particularly weird traditions? The main tradition we tend to have is to watch Top of The Pops Christmas during dinner and then the last few years we've watched a film on the sofa, whilst usually stuffing our faces with chocolate after the dinner and then some drinks.

It's Christmas Eve, what are you doing?
I love watching The Snowman on Christmas Eve. It's a very nostalgic Christmas film for me and I really love it. I have to watch it every year. I've probably had a Lush bath as well and am prepping my presents for under the tree. And probably with a massive mug of hot chocolate too!

Top 3 Christmas dinner components?
Very tricky question, as I do love a Christmas dinner in all it's glory, but honestly I don't think I would be able to manage without the pigs in blankets, the stuffing and arguably probably the turkey because they are the 3 main components for me that make it specifically a Christmas dinner. I was very tempted to choose crispy roast potatoes but then I figured, turkey is probably my top 3 for Christmas.

When do you decorate your house?
Anytime from the end of November/early December. Now I have my own space at uni, I tend to decorate slightly earlier than what I would at home but that's just because I'm a festive fanatic. Although this year I don't have many decorations sadly as I don't have a lot of space.

Loved and loathed Christmas songs?
I love Christmas songs, I tend to go through years where I love certain songs more than others, so it's quite a hard choice for me! I'm not the biggest fan of Last Christmas though... probably my most controversial Christmas song choice... I'll listen to it, but it just isn't up there as a favourite. My favourites are the classics, Wizzard, Slade, Aled Jones (Walking In The Air), Shakin' Stevens. I also have a deep love for In Dulci Jubilo too.

One big present or lots of little things to open?
Ooooh that's tricky! I love opening things so many the latter, but it's nice to get one big present.

What is your favourite Christmas decoration?
I don't really know actually. I think probably Christmas tree, it's just the most special decoration you can have really isn't it?! I do love having tinsel hung around the house too though.

Do you like to have a themed tree or one with a bit of everything?
Admittedly, I would maybe do a themed tree one year, but the tree in our house is a bit of everything! Probably because we have so many decorations it's just ended up like that!

Christmas pudding yay or nay?
Ouch... nay unfortunately! It's just not something I like personally, I prefer trifle or mince pies!

What's at the top of your Christmas wishlist this year?
I've not really had time to properly look if I'm honest. I don't have anything big really, just little bits of stuff really. I think I'm getting old! Normally I'm filled with suggestions!! I think it's because if it's makeup my mum will complain I have too much already haha!!

So those are my answers! I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and I tag any of you who wish to do a Christmas post to do this tag!! Link me so I can have a little nose around at your answers!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

November 2019 Favourites:

Hi everyone!

Welcome back to my blog, here is my November Faves of 2019. We're sliding through my favourite time of the year, a little too fast in my opinion! Cannot believe we're in the last month of the decade! November seemed to be quite a busy month for me, especially as it's my birthday month so I feel like there's a range of things to be mentioned! But before we slide again, I present to you what I've been enjoying over the past month!


Revolution Forever Flawless Utopia Palette
One of my besties treated me to this unreal palette from Revolution. I instantly fell in love with the shades and pretty much my entire back end of November makeup has come from this palette. It's got such a gorgeous range of shades, some shimmery some matte and some with glitter specks in too. It's my current fave palette and one that is gonna get some serious use during this season!!

LMX Matte Lip - Chocolate Chilli
I got the LMX Get Lippy set for my birthday and I wore this lip shade and fell in love with it! I feel like it's going to be one I'll be reaching for during the next few months as it's dazzlingly dark and so autumnal and will take me into winter nicely!

LMX Lashes - Perrie Dramatix
Definitely got a huge amount of love for these Perrie lashes! They're big but they're not overbearing, giving such a gorgeous full and dramatic (as it says in the name) look.

Frock Destroyers (Ru Paul's Drag Race): Break Up Bye Bye
Coldplay - Adventure of a Lifetime
Mis-Teeq - Roll On
Young T & Bugsey ft Not3s - Living Gravy


Mr Kipling Winter Whirls
I'm pretty much obsessed with these as winter treats at the moment, they are getting me through until I get to enjoy my ma's mince pies when I'm back home for Christmas!

Nescafe Double Choc Mocha
I'm pretty much obsessed with these at the moment! They're not hugely coffee tasting, naturally they are fairly chocolatey, but the bitterness of the coffee blends so well with it!

Costa Christmas Drinks (Costa brought back their Black Forest Hot Chocolate!)
My usual obsessions have returned! I've not been drinking as much coffee recently besides the Double Choc Mochas, so I still have the Costa coffees to try but I've enjoyed the Gingerbread and the Black Forest Hot Chocolates so far!

South Park

Well that's all for this month but do check in next month for the next edition! Thank you so much for reading!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Socialising Around The Festive Period Ideas

Hey everyone!

Welcome back to my blog, today's post is all about socialising in the holiday season! Christmas is fast approaching and I've never done a blog post like this before but I thought I'd take you through some ideas for fun things to do this winter season! There's no better time of year to enjoy spending time with your loved ones so here's some creative ideas as to what you can get up to, in hope of spreading some Christmas joy!


Christmas is the perfect time of year to get creative, whether you're intending to try some out with your family or even your friends, set aside some time to try a new crafting experience. Hit up Pinterest for inspiration, it would be such a cute way to spend time with a loved one!

Similarly, baking a Christmas treat is a fab way to not only get into the festive season, but to also have a cute little socialising do too! There's amazing recipes online and if you're not too skilled in the kitchen you could even pick up a kit which provides a lot of the ingredients for you already to make, to save time and panic over skills! This is one area I really want to try and do more of this festive season, but whether I actually will is a different story!!

This seemed to be separate from standard baking, but the option of making a gingerbread house is so cute! It would be such a fun thing to do especially if you live in student accommodation, it would be even better as you can team up and then put the finished results on Insta and let your followers pick the best effort!

I mean this is an obvious one, but it's one I couldn't really miss out! The Christmas markets are getting better and better each year in my opinion, if you find a truly good one you'll love it. I feel like this is something that really gets you into the spirit of things and makes you feel all festive!

Is there really anything more festive than binging on Christmas films for the entire day?! Adding in Christmassy themed snacks, such as Christmas cookies or a selection box, this is certainly one I would be adding to my list! A couple of must haves would be The Grinch, Elf, Arthur Christmas and Home Alone!! And Love Actually for the ultimate festive chick flick! I'll be watching them all!

You can get super creative with this one, let me know if you'd like a solo post on this but you could host your own festive games night! From a Christmas quiz, to taking a shot every time a festive word is mentioned during a Christmas film, there's so many possibilities of ways to keep your guests entertained. You could even make it a fancy dress and provide a prize for the best costume!

Is there anything more exciting than when Starbucks and Costa release their Christmas menu?! Take a friend and try out the menu, it'll make you feel super warm and cosy and I always love the little festive cups they use too. It's something I now look forward to every year!

One thing that me and my best friend did last year was go for a Christmas dinner at our local pub! It's such a simple yet amazing little trip, especially as I don't normally get to have a Christmas dinner with her, it was really enjoyable, especially the gins that we had afterwards! I recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment, as most Christmas dinners require a booking beforehand.

Another way to feel very festive is to attend your local Christmas lights switch on! I try and attend the one at my uni town, as it puts me in a very festive mood and I love it! There's just something relaxing and pretty about bright fairy lights in the cold, dark, wintery evenings!

Ice skating is a huge hit around this time of year (even though I personally really don't like/am scared of ice!) so if you're feeling confident or fearless then get your skates on and have a laugh as you try and skate around the rink! As mentioned, this isn't really for me but it's a very popular choice around this season!

You'll definitely need to wrap up for this one, but the beach is still so nice, you just get different vibes from when you go in the summer! May have to stop for a hot chocolate to keep you warm for this one but it's a possibility if you live near the coast!

Well this isn't particularly festive but what better time of year to pull out the most sparkly, extravagant clothing in your wardrobe and go out for cocktails with your besties?! Got the get the most out of all your glittery clothes at this time of year!!

Top tip: Browse around local events on Facebook to see what's going on in your area! That's a quick way to explore different things that are happening in your area that you might not have necessarily seen on your feed automatically.

So there we have some amazing ways to socialise during the Christmas period! I hope you all enjoy yourselves and let me know if you get up to any of these!

Love & hugs,

Claire xxx