So unless you've been living under a rock, I'm sure you've all heard of the Irish blogger controversy. From mild photoshopping, to an alternative reality, to the down right bizarre (seagulls anyone?), we've seen it all come out over the last week. But the big question is...how accountable can we hold them?
Bloggers and models are judged on a daily basis; from what their wearing, make up, hair, shoes and accessories - nothing is off limits!
We are now part of a generation that expects nothing less that perfection We perpetuate it and demand it. You go online and are greeted with Insta pictures of women and men with perfect bodies, perfect hair, perfect make up, we've become de-sensitised to reality. Where's all the girls at in there mis-matched pjs, last nights make up on and Hun buns?!?
You've seen the pictures of the 'normal' men and woman, and also seen the comments tearing them to shreds over blemished skin, roots on show, cellulite and few extra pounds.
We scream for 'real' but recoil when we actually get it.
Maybe, just maybe, if we supported, loved and accepted one another, there would be no pressure to maintain unrealistic standards. Yes people feel lied to and conned, but we also need to ask what we contributed to this.
A quote for the Truman show comes to mind......
Mike Michaelson: Christof, let me ask you, why do you think that Truman has never come close to discovering the true nature of his world until now?
Christof: We accept the reality of the world with which we're presented. It's as simple as that.
Yes - bloggers and models have a responsibility to be a good influence, and be a positive in people lives, but we, as followers, also have a responsibility to be aware that there's a human person behind the pictures, and start to have more realistic expectations.
Everyone has a lesson to learn from this - be true to yourself ;don't apologise for being you; don't bow to pressure to be something your not; and most of all be kind to one another!
I sat down late last night and finally got to watch “Girls Trip” with my partner. We have hectic lives and even though it was almost midnight and we were all up early, we grasped at those few hours of peace together. While watching the film we laughed! We laughed harder then we have at a film in a long time, but we also saw similarities of ourselves and to our own groups of friends.
This week is mental health awareness week and with all the extra that goes on in our heads and our lives, sometimes we just forget to take time for ourselves with loved ones, friends, family and laugh!
Sometimes we feel like the world is crashing down upon us. Nothing needs to have happened to trigger this. I can be having the best day and then the anxiety hits out of nowhere. I know myself I suffer with it more during times of high stress. When my routine changes, if I’m late or someone is causing me to be late (I’m OCD about time), small fights with family or friends, exams, deadlines, sleepless nights, Christmas when you’re literally pulling money out of you’re a*s to feed consumerism bullsh*t (that’s another rant in itself). I genuinely see myself as insane during these times, and I’m open and okay at the fact that I’m a wound-up spring of stress who lets my mind get the better of me occasionally. That is just me, and the people around me accept it. If not “jog on!”.
I don’t dwell on these days, I brush them aside and continue to move forward day by day, but not everyone is mentally able to do this. That is OKAY!! It’s OKAY to not be OKAY. It’s OKAY to seek out help and speak about your problems, or the fact that your mind is a rollercoaster of crazy because you were 10 mins late to someone’s birthday. Trust me, you aren’t the only one who feels this way.
I am lucky in the fact that I have a family who sees my crazy and accepts it in all its chaotic wonder. My partner is always there to tell me I’m acting insane, and then comforts me until it passes. I have friends that know if we’re late or I’m stressed because of exams, I’ll be off form and bitchy because my brain cannot cope with it. Better yet, I accept them for their “moments of madness” too.
I am not trying to make light of mental health, but I’m showing how it affects me personally on a daily basis and, how I feel personally about it, and how I personally deal with it. Generally, its only my nearest and dearest who know about it, but that is because I don’t feel the need to broadcast it, and I have been lucky enough to be mentally strong enough to get myself out of my own head, or have had help from them closest to me.
I find that the only way I come out of it is by someone highlighting it and saying, “your acting crazy Rach” and then I realise that I can talk to them, be held by them, or give out because they’re never on time,and it drives me cracked and they mentioned it so it’s already out there!
Then I feel better and we laugh about it. We drink tea and we laugh about how crazy those few moments or days or months where. I laugh because when I am feeling good in my head again, I can see for myself that what I thought was the end of the world and what I thought was going to mentally destroy me, wasn’t that huge a problem after all once it was shared. Once it was out in the open and I am helped to see a solution or just allowed to be furious at it, then it isn’t as scary.
All I’d ask of you this week, as my crazy self, is to ask someone for tea and ask them while they’re there “Are you okay?”. If they are - great. and if not, you have given them the opening. You have given them a safe place to air what might be on their mind without fear of judgement.
Tea dates have saved my sanity on more than one occasion, and I am blessed each day to be surrounded by people who accept the fact that myself and themselves are not always 100% but we drink tea, solve the problems of the world and then…. We laugh.
Rach @ CC xx
If you need to talk and you feel you cannot talk to those closest here are some numbers and emails of organisations that can help;
“Lyons Tea has been at the centre of conversation in Irish households for generations. Many a problem has been shared over a cup of our tea.”
This is an open letter to the girl I used to bully...
Did I think I could ever be a bully? No I didn't, but I was. It started off small; little comments or remarks when she would do something ''stupid'', when she couldn't get something right or would say something I thought was silly.
I would tell her to keep her mouth shut; that people would think she was an idiot; to stop embarrassing herself!
The more things she got wrong, the worse I became. The more she annoyed me and messed up, the comments got more vicious. "Why are you always so stupid?", "Why can't you do anything right?", "No wonder no one likes you, your an absolute embarrassment".
I hated who I was becoming, but I couldn't stop. I started picking on her clothes, her make up and her hair. "Why did you wear that, you look horrible". "No amount of make up will fix your awful skin". "You can do what you like with that mess of hair, but it will still look horrible on you".
The more I commented, the more I hated myself. The more I hated myself, the more I took it out on her... "You're getting fat". "Who would ever fancy you when you look like that?". "Look at all that fat on your stomach - it's disgusting". "How can you leave the house knowing people will have to look at you like that?". "Your friends don't even like you, your so fat and ugly".
It kept getting worse......
"Why don't you just get surgery, your never going to be good enough the way you are?"
"Look at those stretch marks, you haven't even had kids yet and your stomach is a mess". "Crying won't help you lose weight, you'll still never be thin or pretty enough!"
I wanted to hurt her, I wanted her to just go away so no one would have to look at her, least of all me... But it's hard to make someone go away when she's staring right back at you through the mirror.
THE GIRL I BULLIED WAS ME.
So to the girl I used to bully; I'm sorry.
I'm sorry for not loving you; for not encouraging you; for not being patient while you found yourself lost and confused in this world. For all the times I told you that you were useless, stupid and couldn't do anything right; I'm sorry.
For all the times I called you fat, ugly and useless; I'm sorry.
You deserved better. You deserved to be nurtured, cared for and most of all...loved.
I'll never bully you again.
After losing 2 stone I wanted to do something to mark the occasion; something exciting and out of my comfort zone. I wracked my brain trying to think of different things to do, then I thought what could be more out of my comfort zone than lingerie - a word that would usually make me shudder. I had seen a few things online about boudoir photoshoots. The pictures of all the women were just stunning and something just told me to go for it.
I called and booked my appointment with Secret Boudoir based in Dublin for just a few days later. I figured the less time I had, the less chance there would be of talking myself out of it.
I did what any woman does when confronted with a scenario that involves photos....I pampered,
primped and preened. I got my tan, hair and nails done all in preparation for my big debut.
The day of the shoot came around in a flash, and I remember feeling so nervous I thought I was going to be sick. I arrived at Secret Boudoir not knowing what to expect. My nerves were quickly settled when I walked in and saw this beautiful room all decorated in pink...it was so girly I just loved it!!! One wall had those old 50's style dressing room mirrors, dressing tables and chairs I felt like I was stepping into backstage at the Oscars. The girls were so friendly and welcoming, and I felt completely at ease. I was offered a glass of champagne or orange juice and was showing to my makeover station. The makeup artist gave me loads of makeup looks and hairstyles to choose from. As I flicked through the pages I thought to myself I hope I look even half as good as these woman.
After my makeup and hair was all done I was brought up stairs to pick out my outfits. They had a huge
range of styles and sizes. I was spoiled for choice something I wasn’t used too. Myself and the
photographer spoke about the look I wanted and the parts of my body I was conscious about. She
reassured me by the end of the shoot I would be bursting with confidence. I chose 5 outfits ranging from
fancy dress to lingerie.
The shoot all in all took about 3 hours. She showed me countless ways of posing to highlight the parts of
my body that I loved but also hid the parts that I didn’t. At the start I was a little bit apprehensive but by
the end of it I was walking around with boobs and butt out and had never felt sexier. The support and
encouragement throughout the shoot was fantastic and walked out with a smile from ear to ear.
I could not wait to see the pics, and after a few days I was sent my personal online gallery. The pictures
were so sexy yet so tasteful. I couldn’t believe that it was me. I chose my favourites, which took me hours
I loved them all. I will have those pictures for a life time, and whenever I'm feeling low I look at them and
build myself back up.
Boudoir shoots aren’t just for a certain body type they are for every woman. No matter what age, size,
look or walk of life. Every woman deserves to feel sexy so what are you waiting for? Book yours now and
Who are you raising? Who is watching how you behave and act towards others? Who is listening to how you speak, and what verbal slurs are said on those late night girl chats?
The answer for most people....The next generation and previous generations before. Whether you are a Mam, Auntie, cousin, sister, visiting a home with a child present, or out for lunch with your ladies....there is generally a child within earshot of your conversation. While we all accept that everyone is entitled to their opinions and to have adult conversation, lets just have a little think about it.
I have a 5-year-old who is as “diva” as they come. Fabulously diva, love everything about her sass and genuinely without being biased, she is very well behaved (for the most part). She is full to the brim with confidence, and with confidence comes the attitude and the feeling that she knows it all. We know she does not. She is quick with her back chat and even quicker with a temper tantrum! So as her Mam, I act daily to keep her in line. No this doesn’t mean I beat her or have her scared to speak or be herself, but it does mean she realises there is a limit… an imaginary line that she shouldn’t cross.
Why do I do this? Because I am her Mam, not her mate. I say this to her frequently too. Of course, I want her to feel like she can approach me in difficult times (in fairness this is how my Mam was and we have always had an extremely open and amazing relationship), but she has enough friends - strong parental figures are different. You see even without you noticing, your child or the children around you will pick up your mannerisms, your sayings… harmless as they may seem. What is said by adults in conversation generally shouldn’t be said by a child, and as much as you and I know I wouldn’t say abusive comments to a person because it is wrong, children don’t…
It is the age old saying of “monkey see, monkey do”.
So why do we now have a surge in videos showing bullying, WhatsApp groups set up where it is seen by people as normal to verbally abuse others and badger suicide, comments on photos pointing out the flaws in a person. Some people will blame social media. “It’s all social medias fault… gave them the tools to do it… gives them the freedom to express themselves”… Well hold on to your knickers because I call BULLSH*T!!
Yes social media is there, yes it’s a wider platform to “express opinions”, but who taught these people it was ever okay to speak to another person like that, or to physically harm another person and record it for pleasure… better yet… who allowed their child to think that is was okay?!
These people, both adolescents and adults, didn’t just wake up one morning with the urge to become an Internet Troll… pet peeve of mine if I’m honest! Keyboard gangsters hiding behind a computer screen, projecting negativity that they call “an opinion” on the world, using social media without any thought of how it may influence the children reading it or the people involved in the article/post/picture they are commenting on. They slowly progressed to this.
No I don’t have a teenager, so for all the “you haven’t been there” comments coming next, I have. I was once a teenager, I’m not that old! I had social media access and peer pressure. Guess what? I still knew right from wrong. I was in no way a saint, but I never trolled to hurt someone intentionally. Do you know why?... Because my family raised me not to. They raised me with that same imaginary line so when I was old enough to “express myself” I knew that trolling or abuse was not the way to go.
Putting someone else down wont build you up. Damaging someone else’s self-esteem wont boost yours. Calling someone fat won’t make you thin...and worst of all badgering someone about committing suicide rather than holding out a hand to help is the lowest scum of the earth and that is exactly what your parents should have told you!
My point overall of this is basically a mini rant; a snippet into my thoughts after yet another week of dipping into comments to read people's responses on the most random of posts. I am disgusted by trolls and fearful of them in relation to when my daughter grows up.
Families across the world have forgotten their roles because they’re too busy trying to be “cool mates” to their children, rather than their parental figures. I see it daily, and I will never understand it. Their phones are too close to their own faces to see what their child is doing in front of them on theirs. Suddenly a verbal slur, as negative as can be, is seen as okay because it is an “opinion”.
Child depression and suicide death rates are at an all-time high. This image is from 2015, http://www.nsrf.ie/statistics/suicide/ and in my opinion it’s a sad day for humanity when 10-14 year olds not only think suicide is their only option, but may have been driven to it.
The youth of today have more confidence in a hand-held device then speaking to each other, or a parental figure face to face and we ask why?…
We can blame social media but who is really to blame?
Rach @ CC xx
An opinionated woman and Mam…
Hi ladies! This week I tried the Blank Canvas Extreme Contour Brush. I absolutely loved everything about it! The angle of the bristles are perfect for blending and contouring the cheek bone. Anyone can contour with this brush - it's flawless, and for only €14.99 from most pharmacies it's worth every penny!
So this week, I am following on from last week's recommendation of the Catrice Primer and I'm recommending Catrice's All Matt Plus Shine Control Makeup. I cannot recommend this foundation enough. It is my day to day "work" makeup, and there isn't anything I don't like about it. It is affordable (€6.99), goes on flawlessly, works best with the Primer, and really does even out shine and fine lines. Cannot live without this product! Emma xx
Well anyone who knows me, knows my obsession with glitter! Yes I am obsessed with anything that sparkles. So, I couldn't resist Kiko's Glittery False Lashes Concentrate Top Coat Mascara. It has to be the best glitter mascara I have ever tried. It really provides a great coverage of sparkle and stays on.
I bought this a week ago and have worn it everyday over different coloured mascaras and it shows up great. It can also be worn by itself as it's a false lashes style mascara; if you just want to have a sparkle to your 'natural' look.
So if your like me and love to shine then this is a great product for you!
Rose water is perfect to use as a skin toner, especially if you have sensitive skin. I picked this one up from my local pharmacy for only €3.49. I use it after my cleanser to remove residue using damp cotton wool.
This one from Ultrapure Laboratories has the added benefit of glycerine ,not forgetting the delicate scent of rose. Its also great for using on hair. Fifi xx
My beauty buy of the week has to be the "Sumptuous Extreme" mascara shade "01 Extreme Black" from Estee Lauder. Retails @ €31.
It may seem an excessive buy for mascara, but some days the only makeup I wear is mascara.
This mascara is lash multiplying; making the most of your own lashes to give a fuller, bigger look. It's mousse based rather then liquid, so it gives the false lash effect without the extensions. Your eyes immediately look brighter and wider. It enhances what you naturally already have!
My lips are my favourite part of me, so this beautiful lipstick from Penneys "PS" range at €1.30 is a real steal. It glides on and has a lovely kind of bubblegum scent to it. I got the colour Vogue, which is a nude-like taupe colour - perfect for day looks. It makes your lips look full and soft with a little hint of shine. Unfortunately, it wont last all day like maybe some more expensive brands, but it is amazing for the price. It is also fabulous dupe of MAC's Velvet Teddy. Just in love..
So recently I posted this photo of myself and I didn't realise the storm it would cause - and not for good reasons! I was asked why I would post a picture like that of myself? Well here's a few reasons why!.....
I spent most of my teens into my early twenties battling EVERY SINGLE DAY TO BE THIN; sometimes resorting to extreme lengths to acquire what I thought was the perfect body....and for who?!?
It certainly wasn't benefiting me when I starved myself for days on end. My hair became thin and brittle (like my body). I would sit crying some days, unable to leave the house because I couldn't bare anyone seeing how 'ugly' and 'fat' I was (at the time I was 6 stone lighter).
I used to imagine cutting the fat off my body when starving it away wasn't quick enough, looking up cosmetic surgeries in the hope of chasing perfection.
So who was it all for?!? For everyone else except me; for all those who called me fat and told me I'd had enough to eat; those who told me I'd be so pretty if I was thinner; those whose own unrealistic body perceptions were being projected onto my body!
So why would I put up a picture like that? FOR ME AND NO ONE ELSE! It's my body and I make the rules now, for what makes me happy and is good for my body and mind. I do it for all the girls who message me and Celtic Curves everyday saying we are changing how they view their bodies and are able to start the process of loving themselves.
So the next time someone makes ANY comment on your body or questions why you do something tell them #mybodymyrules
Be unapologetically you , there is nothing more beautiful!
Love and curves
I write this as an extremely proud Mam of one amazing, 5-year-old, daughter. Alongside that, I am an independent, stressed-out, full time UNI student in my final year (currently working rotation shifts for no pay). I have a partner, family, friends, 4 dogs and a social life on occasion. Oh, and I am also fostering a 4 week old kitten. On top of all that, I have Celtic Curves, blogs and shoots. Needless to say, I am flat out busy!
So here’s some sarcastically humoured Mammy Truths. See, if you don’t have blind sarcasm, wit and a will to live, no matter how much you love them, you won’t survive! I mean YOU, the woman you were before… If you’re easily troubled or have zero sense of humour, turn away now… there’s no going back!
It’s not a miracle experience! It’s not beautiful! Its blind, agonising pain from the minute you find out your pregnant with stuff stretching, swelling and itching. Its blood, bodily fluids and poo (yep poo, yours...theirs....everywhere!) in those 9 months, and during the hours of labour, not once did I say “Awh jaysis, now isn’t this the most fabulous scenario I ever pictured myself in"... No, not once because at the time, when you’re in the moment, its bleeding not, it’s just horrific!!
The night feeds… holy sweet divine… If you ever want to mentally torment someone… make them do night feeds! You’re only in the bed and your back up. Your down in the kitchen boiling kettles, your pouring coffee into bottles instead of cups, you’re back up the stairs, forgetting the bottle and you’d rather fling yourself out a window then walk back down 13 steps! Your bed becomes the floor beside their cot because the walk is too far. Or worse… you co-sleep, the biggest mortal sin of all time! Just accept you’ll never sleep again, and be tired forever, and it becomes mildly more manageable!
Nappies and formula… Awh, the fear of having a poo… nappies and formula… can’t close my legs or sit down… nappies and formula… sweating everywhere, greasy hair that’s falling out…nappies and formula…oh look my boob is leaking… nappies and formula… belly is saggy and stretchmarks are itching… nappies and formula…
Right let’s do this!! It's gonna be a good day. I actually washed myself! Let’s get me and this child out of the house! So, we’ll need 7 outfits because she’ll poo and puke on them all, 50 million nappies, 67 bottles, 4 bags ,a pram with 4 different attachments because the car seat needs its own handles, the bottom detaches, the pram clicks into a base… oh and none of it fits into an average sized car, so you have to load part of the pram in the boot and part on the front seat, because the 700 other items are on the backseat. Now I’m sweating, and the child is waking, because it took so long to get ready and now she’s due another feed… and I'm crying because I'm exhausted…f*ck this sh*t...back into my PJs and we’ll stay in!
Visitors coming today… YES adult conversation with people who live outside, in the real world!! The house looks like a nuclear missile of sh*te just went off, so let’s rant at our partner for 6 hours about how they do nothing and that it’s all their fault - not just the house, OH NO - everything, the fact that the sky is blue! Why?! Because for the 1st year or so they become your enemy! They will literally bug you for breathing, why do they even need oxygen?! Then by the time the visitors come, your both just scowling and wishing everyone would leave!
,Every mother before you… especially your Mam or worse your partner's Mam (the aul bag) is now the bible of total bullsh*t that they “swear worked for us”, and they insist on either telling you or showing you how it should be done...because obviously, we’re doing it all wrong. HOW has the child even survived this long?! Eh, back the f*ck off and have a seat, your child ate dirt till they were 5… trust me I’ll manage!
iYour first night out! Woop! I have a sitter, the baby is gone and I'm going out with the girls! Skinny b*tches with no flabby bits, because their uterus is where it’s supposed to be inside them! Freedom… bye bye baby!!
And then the tears start because you’re a terrible mother for leaving them.
Then the fears... I have to wash myself and style my hair… I have to do makeup…OMG my bush hasn’t been waxed since pre-baby, and for the love of god don’t put a mirror down there! It’ll never look the same again and that causes more tears! I’ll have to stay awake and have a conversation about how wonderful their lives are in the real world… I’ll have to have a hangover! Maybe I’ll just stay In and sleep, all night!
My body - what is this new body?? I hate it and I want the old one back! For some magical creatures, their body just snaps back like an elastic band. For others, it never goes back… the baby pouch is there, the stretchmarks, the varicose veins, the flabby boobs and thighs, cankels… the f*cking cankels!
Accept them and stop hating them… they’re you… you just grew a whole human being!! Cut yourself some slack!
This is only some of the thoughts and experiences you might have. It’s not all doom and gloom. It’s wonderful too. Your hormones will turn you into a blubbering mess and you’ll be so consumed with a love you’ve never felt before. You will have a new reason to live! The point of this little snippet into my thoughts is simply that all the craziness is normal! Any of the above doesn’t mean I love my daughter any less. It just means my life 360 flipped and I had to learn how to live a different way.
I’ve only taken on (self-titled because of how they affected me not her) “the terrible 2's, the traumatic 3's, the furious 4's and the FML 5's”!
There’s a lot more to come, and I honestly can’t wait for them because I get to do it with my daughter and then add humour to keep my sanity!
No one is perfect so stop trying to be… no one can do it all, you won’t have enough hours in the day… no woman is the ideal mother… embrace the crazy as well as the good, and accept that you are no longer the woman you were… you are now Mammy!
Rach @ CC xx
We’re all just winging it!
Starting today and each Friday, we will be bringing you are top beauty picks of the week! All tried and tested by us!
I picked up this Havanna eyeshadow set from Penneys for a bargain. It was reduced from €6 to €3.
I just couldn't leave it there! I'm a huge fan of the "beauty on a budget" concept, and these shadows prove that you don't need to spend a fortune for a great product.
The colours are just beautiful - especially for a summer look, and they are really pigmented and easy to blend and work with. Lets face it - the packaging is so cute too! I'm a huge fan of Inglot shadows, but these are just fantastic for the price. You get 10 shades including 5 mattes and 5 lovely shimmery tones. The looks you can create with this fab little pallet are endless. Grab it while you can its a must have for any makeup kit. 😊
I stumbled across this little gem when I was shopping for Catrice All Matt Plus foundation. Catrice is fast growing as a major beauty budget buy and it does exactly what it's supposed to. The Prime and Fine Beautifying Primer is a gorgeous smelling, pink liquid of amazingness! It instantly gives your face a coverage that blends out any blemishes and leaves it dewy looking, without shine. I wear Catrice foundation at work and I find the primer works best with this foundation. But it literally brightens my skin instantly and feels gorgeous on. It lasts a long time too (I've had mine just over 2 months, but note the recommended shelf life of it is 12) Found in Penneys and most pharmacies.
Go get it! You won't be sorry!
Emma @ Celtic Curves ❤️
So ladies its summer time which means we all want that beautiful tanned goddess look! Barry M hasannounced the launch of its new In The Glow Tahitian Body Oil. This oil is infused with coconut oil, Tahitian gardenia and manoi oil. Designed for use on arms,legs and décolletage. Its gives your skin a beautiful bronzed glow without an hint of tango! Its perfect even without any base tan to give a subtle glow and make your skin look divine! Its in boots, superdrug and most large pharmacies for €9.99 I'm in love ♡ Nicole xx
This week my go-to product is NYX “SK01 Shine Killer”.
It is an absolute MUST for this weather. You can wear it alone or over makeup. It doesn’t provide any SPF though, so make sure your face cream/moisturiser or sun lotion is on before it. I use it 1st, so I put it on before any of my other makeup. I don’t use a brush to apply it, just clean hands/fingertips as its very watery in the heat. Also, a little goes a long way, 2 pea sized amounts provides coverage for my whole face.
It makes your face appear to have a “matte” look to it. So, it stops that nasty glare you get on your face around your forehead and nose. If like me, you get sweaty upper lip (what even is that?! Haha) then it also helps to stop the makeup wearing off! Very handy if you’re heading on a night out that involves lots of dancing and drunken antics
Rach @ CC xx
I dont wear foundation during the day, but I like to protect my skin from sun damage and even out my skin tone. This all in one skin perfector is the perfect combination for day time wear and gives a radiant luminous complexion. It also has a built in SPF15 UV protection, evens out skin tone, smoothes fine lines, hides redness, dark circles and blurs imperfections, to give you a lustrous complexion without the heaviness of a foundation. Its also nice and light for under the eye, and can be used on its own or as a base for foundation.🌸 Fifi xx
One of my favourite beauty items is lipstick. If I am feeling particularly lazy make up wise, slapping on some bright lipstick can change your look with minimal effort. I love to experiment with colours.
At the moment I am particularly in love with vice lipstick by Urban Decay. There are so many beautiful colours and they stay so well!
At a beach photoshoot I spent several hours in the rain and sea. By the end my make up was smudged or non existent except my lipstick which was pristine. It hadn't budged at all! Definitely a must have in any make up lovers bag
I hate to admit that besides removing my makeup with micellar water and throwing on a bit of moisturiser before I go to bed, my skincare routine is pretty non-existent. I knew I had to start looking after my skin because I noticed recently my skin was looking very dull, tired and I was getting breakouts - something I haven’t experienced since I was a teenager.
You can see everyone is going mad for the black face masks lately. However, I have seen far too many disaster videos on Facebook that have made me steer clear.
From looking at different face mask, products and treatment reviews online, it’s pretty clear you could spend hundreds of euro on different skincare products and with so many brands out there it’s very easy to get confused.
I went in to my local Sam McCauley’s Chemist to have a browse, and there was a special offer on the new L’Oréal clay masks. I had heard good things about them so I decided to pick up the Pure Clay Detox Mask with charcoal, which is used to detoxify and clarify without drying the skin out.
I also picked up the Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask to rehydrate and revitalise my skin after using the detoxifying mask.
I used an old flat foundation brush to apply the mask in a thin layer, obviously avoiding my eyes and lips. It had a light perfume scent and was very easy to spread across my face. It says that you should leave it on for 5-10 minutes, I left it on the full 10 because my skin was quite bad.
I could see the mask working while I was waiting for it to dry and I could see where the toxins were been drawn out of my pores. My skin felt tight but it wasn’t uncomfortable.
I took the mask of with a wet face cloth, and honestly my skin just felt amazing so soft and fresh like I had a whole new face. There was a tiny bit of redness, as to be expected, but it was gone after 2 or 3 minutes.
I then applied the Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask, which was a little cool and felt really good against my skin. I left the mask on for 15 minutes as directed. When I took it off, I rubbed the excess serum into my skin. I couldn’t believe that after just one use the difference in my skin. It felt soft and was just glowing.
My skin not only looked great but my makeup applied and lasted so much better after using these products.
I will definitely continue to use these products at least twice a week from now on.
The Clay Mask is a bargain for under ten euro for up to 10 applications. The Tissue Mask was only two euro and they can bought be bought in most pharmacies.
These are fab and only need to be used a few times a week - perfect for busy ladies who don’t have time to do a long skin care routine every night. My skin looked good enough that I was even happy to go out with just my brows drawn in and some lip gloss something I NEVER EVER do. Your skin will look after you as you get older as long as you look after it.
These two products do their job and don’t break the bank…Big thumbs up from me!
Charlotte @ Celtic Curves.
I just wanted to have a little talk about individuality.
Within life, and especially in this industry, people are sometimes expected to fit into a mould and a certain category. People who meet me often think that I am very confident, but I always have this fear when I meet new people about how much I need to ‘dumb down’ my personality. You see I'm a little quirky. I've always been a bit of a contradiction. I used to be a ‘goth’ who loved cheesy pop music and glitter. I'm a professional business woman who is often being silly. I often take on the mothering role, but I am the most childlike. I'm the most insecure confident girl. And I'm a needy independent woman. And yet all of them are me (I blame the fact that I'm a Gemini!).
Fiona is our big sister of the group. Always fussing around us and being so kind.
Emma is our intellect who comes out with the funniest things and has a crazy laugh.
Nicole is our mischievous little pixie, who is so much fun.
Charlotte is our rocker princess. So glamorous.
And last but certainly not least is Rachel who is just ‘too cool for school’ and is ‘uber funky’. Yes... I am using old school weird phrases but she warrants it!
And me...well I'll be the one ruining a picture by doing something silly. Yet, I can be the uber organised bossy one when I need to!!
Individuality is important. Trying to be someone you're not is stifling (trust me I know). It can pull you down. Please never be anything other than yourself, as it's OK to be different. Life would be so boring if everyone was the same!
That is what is so amazing about being with Celtic Curves. We are all completely different characters who love and respect each other's ‘quirks’. This is what makes us special. There is no one like us. As we are ourselves.
Just like there should be know one like you. I'm not saying that everyone should be crazy as that is not everyone's personalities. Just be yourself because we love you just the way you are. So go forth my pretties and, to quote a song from Shrek the musical - "Let your freak flag fly’.
How many of us can say that we are happy with our bodies? I bet it's few and far between. What would it take for you to be happy with your body? Thinner waist? Shorter legs? Smaller feet? Skinnier thighs?
Some of these thoughts can occupy a persons every waking moment. From the moment they wake up, they look in the mirror and while they're okay with what they see, they're not happy.
The media can play on this. Photoshop can be your best friend, or your worst enemy. As a plus size model, I've had photos edited to smooth out skin tone, get rid of unsightly lumps and bumps & generally make me look "marketable"; and while I'm happy (no, over the moon!) with the finished product of a photoshopped photo, it's not me. But it's given me a glimpse of the type of body I could have.
I am a very proud mammy of 2. I've grown two babies, and have the stretchmarks to prove it. Like a lot of mothers, they're my stripes that I've earned. Pregnancy is hard - very hard. But NO ONE prepared me for the feeling I had when I saw my body changing.
I was never "skinny". I am 5'10" and I was always a size 14/16. And I loved it. But even back as a teenager, I was fat shamed. Fat shamed on the street, school, by so called friends.....And I know all these years later, it still happens. But I was made of stern stuff and I didn't pay any attention; probably a thing a lot of teenagers can't do. But when I became pregnant, that all changed.
Yes, the object of pregnancy is growing another human inside you. And to do that, your body has to adjust. I wasn't mentally prepared for this. I was 20 years of age and while I knew of the science behind pregnancy, I didn't know about the physical. I gave into every craving I had.... to the detriment of my waist line. I suddenly went from a confident-in-myself size 14 to a very pregnant size 22. I had a Caesarean section which resulted in my stomach developing an "overhang" or "pregnancy pouch". While I slimmed back down to an 18, I was still horribly uncomfortable with myself....and of course turned to food to comfort myself. Next thing I was back at a size 22 (well, 23 if they did that size....not 22 but not quite 24). I. Hated. Myself. The more I hated myself, the more I ate.
Shopping was a nightmare. This was 14 years ago and there literally was next to no shops that stocked past a 16. So I lived in tracksuit bottoms. Lovely & comfy, but not what I wanted. I craved wearing nice heels, a dress, even trousers that didn't show off my massive protruding belly. And because I was so heavy, I couldn't wear heels cos the weight was bearing down on my ankles. Coping with this was a vicious cycle.....Can't wear what I want....eat...hate how I look....eat.... It went on and on.
Then one day, something.....snapped.
I couldn't carry on like this. I couldn't play with my daughter, couldn't fit properly in plane seats, couldn't fit into my biggest clothes.
So I stopped. It was something my Dad said to me actually. He said "You can change a situation by the way you react to it". Wise words that have stuck with me ever since.
My relationship changed with food, and I quickly lost 4 stone. Suddenly the fat shaming I used to get was replaced by compliments on how amazing I looked and wanting to know how I did it. And I loved every single second of it. Don't get me wrong, my overhang was still there (and it will always be there), but it wasn't as noticeable.
And then I fell pregnant again.
ALL of my old fears came rushing back. I knew what was happening with my body this time around and was much more prepared for the emotions and changes. I still put on weight, but I didn't lose the run of myself. I had a second Caesarean section, and they cut into my same scar, so the overhang became a bit more noticeable again. But that overhang coming back made me sink into old habits. I hated it.
I've spent every day of my 20's with major body issues. I am that girl who spent every day thinking about how much she hated her body, picking every flaw out and obsessing about it. And that's no lie. To be honest, I still do. I am a lot more confident in myself, mainly thanks to my beautiful besties in Celtic Curves, and my amazing husband, and their unwavering support. They take me as I am and they don't judge, don't question, and love me for who I am.
I'm plus size. Plus size and proud. I'll never be skinny, as I said, and I have some tweaks that I personally want to achieve for myself to be the most fabulous I can be.
I'll always have that self doubt in me, it won't ever leave me. But I am proud to be a spokeswoman for any woman out there who hated their bodies during pregnancy, or any person whose hated their bodies at all. Plus size ladies (and men!) are the norm now (who'da thunk it!), but society just can't seem to get their head around the fact that bodies come in different shapes, sizes and colours. And I am proud to be in a position to be someone's voice in this emotive subject.
Be your authentic self. Why would you want to be anyone else, everyone else is already taken.
Be kind to yourself; you got this.
Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who’s the fairest of them all?”
Well I hope today you started by saying “I am!” If not, here’s a few fun facts and information for your beautiful self before your too hard on that face staring back at you.
Do you know that it is scientifically proven that women are less pleased then men by their reflection? That what we see in our reflection is greatly distorted from what others see of us?! This reflection of what we think is our true self apparently isn’t us at all! So, beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. Our face, body etc. can be more loved by a bystander then ourselves - how is that right?!
What you see in your mirror reflection can be greater or less distorted from your true reflection by anything from mood, age, sex, weight, past emotional experiences and even just what you ate for lunch. That’s a hell of a lot of variables to consider when you wake up with a puffy face, drool down your chin and your hair like a nest!
Do you ever open your camera accidently and your met with an image like this?
And you just think “FML Sideways!” All chins and nostrils! Honey relax, no one - and I mean no one - looks good at this angle!
That being considered, everyone has their “good side”. This is the part that we conceive to be the best angle to view our reflection from, but it’s us viewing it and scrutinising it; and remember, what we ate for breakfast might make us hate it!
Next to that you deal with everyone’s nightmare - the ideal selfie! You know the score, its Saturday night… you’re with your mates… 600 selfies in and FINALLY one we all mildly approve on. The head tilt is right, the forehead isn’t glossy, my nose hasn’t got the weird snot shadow AND go team, cleavage game is strong!
See what once was called vanity has now become the entire opposite. You see we have become a society that now instead of being vain and overly loving ourselves (like was once thought), we now are entirely insecure and tear ourselves apart.
We take 600 selfies… we glance at every mirror or reflective surface that we pass… we spend 3 hours doing our hair and makeup and people would say we’re narcissists, but I think it’s more because we are totally insecure to the mind-f*ck that is perfection. So, we spend every day, every mirror glance and every picture searching for it.
It does not exist! You are the ideal mirror image of you and true beauty is only skin deep! You can be society's ideal beauty but I’ll tell you something for nothing; your personality and attitude can be rotten to the core. I’d rather be loved for my banter then how I look in a picture.
What you need to take from this is that you, as you are, standing there in front of the mirror, hating on yourself are beautiful. That picture of you that just got tagged on Facebook, okay it’s not your finest but it’s simply one moment frozen in time. The mirror you just walked past is only one glimpse, one angle of a face and body that is beautiful, even if you can’t see it right this second!
A reflection or an image cannot provide you with self-worth. Your number of likes on a social media image doesn’t directly relate to the amount of love or true friendship in your life. Your image cannot show your warmth, compassion, personality or aura.
My favourite quote has to be, mirrors “are a temporary receptacle for some tiny fraction of our soul”. There’s a huge amount of truth to it. If people could all see our soul instead of our skin, would you be beautiful?
What is more important… the likes and the good picture, or being a good person who is true to themselves while still being happy in their own skin without justification from anyone else?
Rach @ CC xx
Body positive week was the 8th to the 14th of May this year….but it doesn’t stop there!
Body positivity is here to stay……it’s for life!
Unfortunately, body positivity is a relatively new concept to me because for as long I could remember I hated my body. I was so cruel to myself and said things to the mirror you wouldn’t say to your worst enemy. Thankfully in the last year I have finally put all that behind me, my confidence has grown and I am so much happier.
Events such as body positive week are so important as they provide support, education and a platform to reach out to people who are hurting.
According to everyone’s best friend Google;
“The Body Positive Movement is a movement that encourages people to adopt more forgiving and affirming attitudes towards their bodies, with the goal of improving overall health and well-being”
Now, this is the technical definition of body positivity but what does it really mean??
The very fact that body positivity is now been described as a movement is a triumph itself.
This means its gaining momentum. We are bombarded everyday with images, articles, and adverts that tell us there is something wrong with us if we don’t look a certain way. The only problem is there are so many “certain ways”, that having them all is physically impossible. We are all guilty of, at some stage, chasing that idea of “perfection” - this again is physically impossible as what’s perfect is completely subjective and unique to every individual.
Body positivity does not discriminate!
Body positivity is about every man and woman being able to appreciate and admire the skin they are in without feelings of guilt or shame. It is also about changing peoples attitudes and creating a culture of acceptance where no one will judge another for their size or shape.
This doesn’t mean we should all start prancing around in the nip telling everyone how much we love our bodies, but it does mean that you should be kinder to yourself and to others.
When you learn to accept and love what you do have instead of been consumed by what
you think you should have the world becomes a brighter, happier place, going to the beach wont fill you with dread, showing your partner your new lingerie wont fill you with fear.
A few simple ways to be more body positive;
If you get nothing else from this please remember these 2 things;
Lots of love,
Ok you gorgeous ladies, Its that time of year again! Cocktail and maxi dress season is upon us, so I wanted to bring you some of my favourite looks from the fabulous Dolly & Bella range teamed with some tasty cocktails recipes to get you summer ready!
Blue Maxi Goddess Dress
Feel like a summer goddess in this elegant and stylish maxi dress. Pair it with heels to elevate the look, and a blue lagoon cocktail to make you feel every inch a goddess!
Ingredients: 1 part Blue Curacao, 1 part Vodka, 4 parts Lemon juice.
Preparation: Pour vodka and blue curacao in a shaker with ice, shake well & strain into ice filled highball glass, top with lemonade, garnish and serve.
Served: On the rocks; poured over ice
Standard garnish: Orange slice or lemon slice
White Vintage Style Crochet Dress
Look every inch the bombshell in this Vintage Inspired White Crochet Dress, and finish the look off with a Golden Cadillac, and release your inner 60's siren!
Ingredients: 2/3 oz (1 part) Cream, 2/3 oz (1 part) Crème de cacao (white), 2/3 oz (1 part) Galliano
Preparation: Shake together over ice. Strain into cocktail glass and serve chilled.
Served: Straight up; without ice
Drinkware: Cocktail glass
Tropical Green Print Dress
This Tropical Print Maxi Dress with thigh split and long sleeve with button cuff detail is to die for. If you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain......this ones for you!
Ingredients: 3 oz (3 parts) Pineapple juice, 1 oz (one part) White rum, 1 oz (one part) Coconut cream
Preparation: Mix with crushed ice until smooth. Pour into chilled glass, garnish and serve.
Served: Blended with ice (frozen style)
Standard garnish: Maraschino cherry, Pineapple slice
Drinkware: Poco Grande glass
Daisy Embroidered Dress
Available in plus size also!
Simple, daisy print dress silhouette that will flatter the figure. Available up to size 20 (Yay!!)
Ingredients: 2 ounces light (white) or amber rum, 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice,
½ ounce grenadine, ¼ ounce simple syrup, ½ ounce fizzy water (or to taste; you can use club soda, seltzer water, or any kind of sparkling water) lemon twist for garnish (optional)
Add the rum, lemon juice, grenadine, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice. Shake enthusiastically until well chilled (20 or 30 seconds).
Strain into a cocktail glass. (Or into a rocks or tall glass filled with crushed ice, if you prefer.) Carefully pour in the fizzy water (to give the drink some “sparkle” and character). Stir once.
Standard garnish: Garnish with a lemon twist, if using, and serve.
Drinkware: martini glass
So ladies go forth, be fabulous and enjoy the sunshine (if we ever get any!)
hugs and curves
Nic @ Celtic Curves
Can you remember....Putting on your Mam's reddest lippy, finding your most fabulous dress-up princess dress....don’t forget the plastic tiara, oversized jewellery and plastic play time half inch heels!! You were totally over the top… Then you would strut up the street like the fabulous little girl you were!... Feeling invincible and beautiful…
What I wouldn’t give to be that fearless 5-year- old again! The little girl with the world at her feet and nothing holding her back because she hadn’t yet been subjected to the mental torment our society continues to dish out daily… that there somehow is an ideal woman… an ideal body… an ideal figure… and if you don’t have exactly what is shown in advertising/music videos/sign boards then you are lead to believe, from a young age, that you as a person are not worthy of self-love or body acceptance!
You see this shoot was probably the hardest ever, for all of us! Not only was it beach wear but it
included a 2-piece bikini, on an actual beach, in front of normal people going about their business. As models and ambassadors for body acceptance we at Celtic Curves do lots of photoshoots but we have never had one so public or with our bodies so bare. When we received the package from Viva Voluptuous we were all genuinely excited. “This is it ladies… we’re doing this shoot to be plus and proud… we’re going to show that normal women with plus size bodies are beautiful too…”. The package included the “Daisy Plus Size Swim Suit”, “Daisy Plus Size Tankini Top and Bikini Bottoms” and “Sabrina Plus Size Bikini Top and Bikini Bottoms”.
As the day drew nearer division in the ranks about the shoot became apparent. This was getting daunting for all of us. Not one of us escaped the self-loathing that week. We began to nit-pick at ourselves. We spoke honestly to one another about how we didn’t feel confident. Tears were shed and confidence was at an all-time low. Our stomachs were bloated. We had all gained a little weight from down time. Our stretch marks had suddenly become more raised, red and visible overnight. The cellulite on our legs had suddenly developed into pot holes on our skin. Our bingo wings had gotten so large they could be used as wings to take off.
None of this was the case; we were simply scared. Grown women and mams, scared to put on a swim suit on a beach! Body ambassadors who constantly strive to build up a positive body image for Plus Size women, scared to show their bodies. Role models for the next generation, scared to put themselves out there. Honestly, it was a low for us all and it did take a toll. Fiona and Emma, due to personal reasons, decided not to participate in the shoot. Even after all of us trying to badger them into it. They personally were not okay with their bodies that week and did not feel confident, comfortable or ready to participate in a beach wear shoot. At Celtic Curves, we have a united stance - we are a support network for each other; we are a family. So, it was hard to continue without them that day, and even harder that we couldn’t make them see just how beautiful they truly are. However, we will never force another person in the group to do something they are not 100% ready for.
You see what people don’t understand is that putting yourself out there, to help other women, to possibly be judged by trolls and people with ideal body images, is hard! We are normal women, with normal jobs, normal bodies and normal everyday feelings. We are not always full of confidence. We don’t wake up every morning and say “YES I AM THE MOST STUNNING CREATURE CREATED!” We genuinely have down days too; we’re normal women, we also have days where we hate the sight of ourselves. We hate the rolls we have, the stretch marks, the extra boob at the side, the fact our old jeans no longer fit us.
On the day, myself, Rhian, Charlotte and Nicole took to the beach for the shoot with Emma and Fiona there to support us, because we needed all the support we could get for this shoot. We started the shoot behind the sand dunes. This was intentionally done so we could almost hide ourselves from the public eye. We were literally hiding ourselves in beach wear, on a beach! I was the first to put the bikini on...not going to lie, I was terrified, but someone had to do it… What happened next was true strength, love and acceptance for ourselves and each other. We all stood there together, looking at each other, waiting to see what everyone thought of the “hideous body” we hide underneath our clothes. The responses began to flow and do you know what??… they were all POSITIVE COMPLIMENTS! We all looked amazing!
The beach wear completely flattered our body shapes. All the suits sat correctly on our chests and stomachs, while providing support without cutting off circulation. Our thighs weren’t bulging out of the end because the fabric was flimsy or too tight like normal beach wear. My boobs weren’t sagging down to my knees because the tops are all underwired. We didn’t have belly over flow because the briefs are made to size. These suits gave us back our confidence, they enhanced our best assets, and allowed us to look and feel comfortable in them. All plus size women will know the struggle to find good, solid, comfortable beach wear that works with a larger body instead of against it. Well ladies this is it!
The shoot continued, we moved out onto the main beach. We got into the water. We rolled around. We ran up and down the beach. We laughed. We had fun. All the while we were oblivious to anyone around us. Mostly because no one batted an eyelid in a negative way at us and because we felt good about ourselves. Emma and Fiona after being around us in the swim wear that day have decided to complete their Viva swim wear shoot at a later date! The day was a complete success on so many levels.
You see, I feel your life and emotions are greatly affected by the vibes you put out there or vibes you are subjected to daily. The vibes and comments we allow ourselves to dwell on. That week not one of us as good vibes to add about ourselves to the group, and it did affect us all negatively. This is normal though. It is okay to not always be okay about every little thing about yourself and your body. You just need to remember not to allow it to consume you. Rise above it! Push yourself to be the best you! Take a risk. Take a chance. Trust me, all of us can now say it was the best and most fun shoot we’ve ever done!
The best thing for all of us as individual women, and as a group, was we didn’t allow it to stop us. We did the shoot. We wore swim wear, with our bodies bare, on a beach, in front of the public! This truly was a huge step for all of us! The confidence we all felt from being around each other. From being around strong fearless women who faced their terrors (and yes, sometimes being half naked is a genuine terror for a plus size woman!) and came out all the more fabulous for it! That’s the kind of inspiration and good vibes that will get you through the hard days. It is what you need to hold onto on the dark days when self-loathing is consuming you.
We are so happy that Viva Voluptuous provided the swim wear for the shoot and we would just like to take a chance to thank them from the bottom of our hearts. Firstly, because they allowed us to test ourselves and push our boundaries. Secondly, for making such amazing swim wear for Plus Size women.
We at Celtic Curves all believe that every woman deserves an enjoy full day at the beach, feeling confident in her skin and would highly recommend this brand and swim wear to provide you with all that and more. So go on, embrace your inner 5 year old, or better yet, show your child, that fierce 5 year old who watches you in amazement, that you are the strong, empowered, fearless woman that she already knows you are!
Rach @ Celtic Curves xx
We at Celtic Curves had the pleasure of walking along side many fantastic models for the 2nd Annual Live Out Loud Charity Fashion Show on June 25th in the Tower Hotel, Co Waterford.
“Sherrie Gearheart founded Live Out Loud Charity (LOLC) in 2010 after losing her childhood friend to suicide. He was only nineteen years old at the time of his death. Since its inception, LOLC has educated millions of individuals globally on the signs of depression and suicide prevention. Live Out Loud Charity focuses on core character development, anti bullying, and suicide prevention.”
A few thank you's from the Celtic Curves ladies and our Mini Celtic Curves (our children)
that also had the pleasure of being in the show! First, the LOLC, Jade, Rebecca and Sherrie for putting together such a wonderful show. Shirley Watson for helping backstage with changes, and our very own Fiona for organising the plus size clothes, I think it’s the first show we have done as the plus size models that there was a range of clothes to fit us.
And obviously, all the designers (Trail by Georgina and Elaine Honey Designs) and shops Lumy by Paris, Curvy Gurl Portlaoise, for providing such fabulous outfits!
The hair and makeup ladies (Leah McCahey and Hannah Troy) for being absolutely fantastic and for keeping everyone fabulous all day. They did not stop - total super women!!
There was amazing organisation and team spirit about the whole day, and backstage was the calmest atmosphere I think we have ever had at a show, and it allowed everyone to enjoy themselves!! Emma and Jade's inspiring and heart wrenching speeches were amazing, yous are extremely strong women! The atmosphere and the support between the models and designers continued to keep up momentum even with a small crowd we all sat out and cheered each other on!
Lastly all the models, who without there would have been no show! Amazing work by everyone! But we have to say an even bigger, more special well done to the kids. The younger ones did a show stopping job! They practiced all day and the gave all us older ones a run for our money! They kept up the momentum and smiled right through the night! The crowd loved them!!
If we have forgotten anyone apologies but a huge well done and congratulations to everyone who organised/helped out/modelled/designed - You all did a wonderful job and we will hopefully see you all again in February.
There is not one person or family who has not been touched by mental health problems or suicide. on that day, we remembered all the loved ones that we have lost. Mental health awareness and suicide still has a negative stigma attached to it here in Ireland. This show allowed a positive enhancement on how prevalent it is here, while showing how we as individuals can help. We sincerely hope this charity continues to grow in support in Ireland and all of us at Celtic Curves will support their goals 100%. Thank you for allowing us to be part of a truly generous cause and wonderful show xx
Much love from Celtic Curves,
Please dig deep and donate to the Live Out Loud Charity here http://liveoutloudcharity.org/ways-to- give/
So I was asked to do a little piece for the lovely ladies at Celtic Curves - positive role models in every sense of the word. I wasn’t sure what to write about that would be of interest to everyone. I was a little scared because it’s one thing writing for myself, but to write for others is a little harder.
Then I remembered the quote below, fear doesn’t open doors.
So a little about me from way back when, before the world turned upside down.
I’m an only child, but not the spoiled type that people go on about. My dad was a lot older than my mum, and unfortunately when I was 9, he passed away. Life got tough and I moved from Sligo to Donegal at age 11 to live with my aunt.
I was such a shy awkward child who was bigger than the average child, and boy did I pay for it. From the age of 11 till 13, I was badly bullied. I had two nicknames courtesy of the bullies - R.A.T (Russian army tank) or for anyone of a certain age you will remember the advert for Domestos that went (sing it it makes more sense!)...."Big Big Dom". Well I was big Anne. I was often kicked and punched, had rotten eggs pelted at me etc. One night, I finally had enough after being punched in the stomach. I got up, pulled my fist behind my head and hit that boy with all the force of the big girl I was, and left him on his ass. From that day on, I was never bullied again, I realised bullies are cowards and once you stand up to them, they cower.
I think that was the start of my journey fighting with myself to be like everyone else so I wouldn’t stand out. God or the heavens had other plans. At 17 I got Alopecia. It was just patches to start with, but by 22 it was all gone & I’d lost all my hair on my head and body.
So why now am I putting myself out there? Two reasons - a broken heart, and I’m tired hiding. So many people hide for various reasons but not me; not anymore. I want people to see me. I want to make a bald woman the norm. Hell, I want to make the type of person I am the norm. I won’t let the lack of hair or the size of my clothes define me and neither should you!
Be you. There’s no one else like you in the world, and that should be celebrated. I love this quote “I am me there is no one else I’d rather be”. Be you, be brave and most of all be authentic to yourself.
Ms Amazebald xx
LASHES!!....I feel naked without them!!!
Unfortunately with starting rotations for University, we’re not allowed ANYTHING false...bye-bye lash extensions, bye-bye my beautiful stiletto-style false nails and see ye later makeup… the glamorous life of a Veterinary Nurse Student!
The damage from years of using lash extensions means my lashes are patchy and stumpy from constant extensions and glue application. I’ve also never been the best in terms of maintaining the false extensions and I’m very heavy handed when it comes to rubbing my eyes/removing makeup which also probably added to the damage.
I don’t wear makeup day to day anyways, I’m the girl who will have “panda eyes” because I’m not used to having mascara on…BUT I feel confident in my appearance if my brows and lashes are styled. My eyes look dull, sad and lack sparkle without lash extensions so I went on the hunt for something to help and I found….
New “Lash Lift” from Nail Kandi in Clondalkin Village. This treatment simply enhances your natural lashes without the use of lash extensions or glue!
Now I could give details but the picture speaks for itself. My lashes are lifted, tinted, curled and all with no extensions. As I said before my lashes are badly damaged so they obviously don’t resemble the dramatic effect that lash extensions give BUT I was amazed by the difference. I didn’t even think I had that many lashes left! Avoid water on them for 24 hours and then its makeup remover and smudge proof (Rach proof😅)! They just stay like this for 5-7 weeks!
Full information/price/advice and patch test can be obtained from the fabulous ladies in the salon (Nail Kandi) so any questions are best directed to them. I can sincerely say that I am delighted with the outcome. I’m 3 weeks in and my lashes are the exact same as immediately after the treatment. I cannot wait for my next application to see how the growth has come on. It feels great knowing I’m no longer relying on lash extensions while still having a full look to them AND that I can wear this look on my rotations! Happy out!!
Rach @ CC xx
“I can’t wear that… they don’t make flattering clothes for plus size women… people will stare… what if it rolls up on my thighs… what if it clings to my belly… I have muffin top…”
Sound familiar ladies?? It’s the weekly struggle for most plus size ladies when it comes to finding something “on trend” to wear out, even more so if its sunny and we’ve to show FLESH!!
Calm down, we’ve got this!
I don’t like to follow trends; I also don’t really care what people see when they look at me, because mostly it’s just a passing glimpse. Surprisingly, I get complimented; loads of compliments and my extremely large ego loves it (haha)! I jokingly say that as I actually don’t like to be the centre of attention, but do appreciate it when someone goes out of their way to make you feel good about yourself, kindness costs nothing!
So here it is, step out of your comfort zone and your head!
jiGlitter and sparkle everywhere... this makes me happy! Emma (my MUA) is always on point with painting my face, we share the same love for being bold and out there so it works well! As you can see from the pictures I went crazy on the “spangles” and glitter. I think if you’re going to do it go all out but even some went for more conservative glitter use and looked just as fabulous. You can simply do a glitter eye and festival spots above your brows. Glitter along your hairline with plats is fab but a nightmare to wash out, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The top/dress I had on was from eBay (I am an eBay-aholic), think it cost me €6 and no one else had it on, which is always a win with women’s clothes! Problem was I’m 5’10 with big boobs so it was too short on me, whaaay too short on me…
SO, I wore shorts, denim short shorts! My thighs were out, my stretchmarks on my inner thighs on show, the cellulite on the back of my legs jiggling as I walked!!… the horror of it all!!.. nope, no horror just 2 fabulous pins out enjoying the little bit of sun we actually get in Ireland and guess what?? No one cried as I passed by!
The denim jacket was actually a dress I bought this time last year in New Look - impulse buy and personally I hated it when I got home! It looked dead on me and gave me zero shape.
To tackle this, I up styled it. I had no idea what I was doing but why worry about ruining something you hate?! I cut up the ends to make a frayed look and ironed on some patches/stickers/flowers from Home Focus @ Hickeys. Now it’s my favourite “coat” for casual summer use! You don’t have to spend a fortune to look good; you just need to think outside the box. Upstyling is so handy for something that’s been forgotten or worn 100 times already!
On my feet, I wore flats, runners, Vans… if you’re going to a festival or out all day wear comfy shoes! There is nothing worse than seeing a fabulous looking lady, decked out head to toe in confidence and style BUT she cannot walk or move without pain because her shoes are trying to kill her!! Put on the flats, break out the wellies... trust me, you look more the fool when you can’t walk then someone in a dress and runners!
The point to this and my little run down on my outfit was just to show you that you can wear anything, once you have the confidence to pull it off! There’s always going to be hints and tricks to make something look better on you, but how about you thinking for once that you’re making the clothes look better!?
Tan dulls the redness and prominence of stretch marks. A light denim jacket will hide the bingo wings. A loose cami dress will stop the dreaded belly cling while enhancing the cleavage. GLITTER is heaven in a tiny tub! But none of these things matter unless you yourself are positive about your body and positive that your body rocks your outfit choice!
I looked and felt amazing that day and got some seriously good compliments on my whole outfit and style. Find your style and own it. We’re not sheep, we don’t have to follow everyone else. March to your own beat and your confidence will shine through.
Rach @ CC xx
#StayFabulous #Bodypositiveweek #FestivalReady
- MUA page “Emmas’s Makeup room” on Facebook
So a while back, I came across this picture. Two sisters; two very different models. These women are obviously both physically stunning, but while its easy look at this photograph & think 'gorgeous' and just keep scrolling onto the next image, it has resonated with me for so many weeks, I just had to write this blog.
I think as a woman (a plus size woman at that), I've become so accustomed to seeing pictures of thin beautiful woman beside a thicker woman, usually with some connotation along the lines of 'drop 10 pounds in a month' or 'look at how fat shes gotten' or 'shes wasting away, where have her curves gone?'. For example, type into Google 'Celebs thin to fat'. 15 million hits come up. Now type in 'Celebs fat to thin'; 18 million results come up. Why is this so important?? Because as a society, we have moved towards becoming more accepting of plus size - but at what cost?
We've moved to the movement of Thick Vs Thin. Now its all about the weight gain/weight loss, who has cellulite and lose skin-game. Shock horror! Kim Kardashian's ass has cellulite! Tyra banks gains a few pounds! Kate Middleton loses a few. Why are we pitting woman against each other, and themselves, by constantly comparing and criticizing them by sticking a picture of whatever they are this week (too thick or too thin) next to a picture taken of them 10 years ago, accompanied by the headlines crying out 'Whats happened her body/face??'
Why has this become the so much the norm that it doesn't even register with me the way it should anymore? Why does it take a picture like the first one above to stop me in my tracks and make me think?
This is what should be normal! Stunningly beautiful woman of ALL sizes rocking their bodies beside each other; big hips to thin hips showing us that EVERY SINGLE BODY IS BEAUTIFUL! Next time you pick up magazines and see these B******T images remind yourself; your perfect and so are they, don't feed into the problem. Be the one to turn away and tell the next woman you see how amazing she is just the way she is........
It is body positivity week! There is something that I am passionate about but I know the mere mention of the word can bring some of my friends out in a cold sweat. It is the dreaded.... SWIMWEAR! !!!!
Summer is coming and it is almost that dreaded time. The time to shop for such monstrosities. Okay... it's not that dramatic, but for some of us curvy girls it can feel like it. Whether you are a two piece or coverall type of girl, it is hard to find the perfect swimwear unless you are an ideal size 8 with curves only in the right places.
But, whereever your 'problem' areas are, there is always a solution. And it's not only the beach that we have to worry about. As a Pageant Queen, I sometimes have to do swimwear. Now, often the swimwear round is optional. When I turned up for Mrs Ireland, I noticed that I was the only plus size girl who had opted for that round. When asked, the others (Fiona in Celtic Curves, I'm looking at you here!!) were told they didn't have a bikini body.
Firstly, what is a bikini body!? Rachel from Celtic Curves looks amazing in a bikini and she's not a size 6. It is because she is confident in one. Me? Well, I'm not as much, but I don't mind showing some flesh. Trust me girls, it's not just you who feels scared; even my gorgeous fellow Celtic Curves were nervous before doing our recent swimwear shoot. But there is no need to be. I managed to convince most of the other girls in Mrs Ireland to do that round (even though I had to give Fiona my swimwear and I had to wear my back up). I threw on a beach hat, pearls and shades, I didn't look like the other models in their slinky swimwear, but that didn't matter. I looked different - but still rocked it! It's all about confidence and finding something that you feel good in.
So here is a quick guide!!
First and foremost - get something your comfortable in. If there is an area you dislike, then find a way to hide or distract from it. Personally, my belly hangs over. I often go for a bathing costume with a skirt or tasseling. Oh I hate my over hang!! But I accept it. It's okay to have a least favourite part of your body. It's normal. But it doesn't mean you need to hate your body. You just need to work with your hang ups. Some of the 50's inspired looks are just beautiful and cover in all the right places, without being frumpy.
Get a bust size that fits!
Now THIS is my pet hate. Just because I am large, I do not have a larger bust!! If your like me, I find halternecks work. Also, go for un-padded swimwear. Although that's what I'd like, I find they never fit right. Designers assume that if your big, you have a big bust, and that's not always true! If you have a larger bust, don't feel like you have to do frumpy! Some of the 50's inspired swimwear have thick straps and plenty of support.
Don't feel like you can't show a little flesh just because you are a larger lady!
A low cut or little peephole or even a two-piece can look beautiful if you feel comfortable in it.
Never let anyone make you feel bad if you want to show more flesh than society thinks is acceptable for your size.
I'm a size 22 and my bumps are definitely not in the right places. At one point I lived in Spain, and at the time I was definitely a 1 piece kind of girl. Yet, as I walked on the beach, everyone looked at me. At first I thought it was my size, reverting back to my old insecurities. I stopped, looked around, and realised there were much bigger ladies, so it couldn't be that. Then realized everyone else was in bikinis; most with just the bottoms on. It was a case of spot the tourist in my one piece. It is amazing how different cultures have different expectations and versions of beauty. I automatically thought the staring was because of my size, due to my own hang ups. You will always get the haters in life. But on a beach or in the swimming pool, 95% will be concentrating on swimming, or themselves, and not looking at you.
Express yourself and your style!
Too many girls have amazing style when they are fully dressed, but revert to plain on the beach. Play around, look for the bling, that 50's look, mix of colour, if that is how you normally dress. Just because you are in less clothes does not mean you can't show yourself off. Have fun! There are some beautiful bathers out there now. Shops have finally realised that not all us bigger girls just like plain, sportswear looking swimwear (though that is also fine if it's your style).
Shops like Simply Be and Evans and Yours Clothing have some beautiful pretty swimwear. Also Marks and Spencer and Debenhams go up to a 22.
So get out there and enjoy the sun girls!!
Rhian @ Celtic Curves
Ps. I'm writing this on holiday in a pretty bright swimwear. And I love it!
“If you worked out, you would be slimmer"....
"If you dieted, you’d lose it quicker"
"There’s no excuse for being your size"....
"People don’t look better with weight on them"…
"Big is not beautiful”...
Well #effyourbeautystandards society and all you trolls out there. Our bodies are not “One size fits all!!"
We talk about body confidence daily at Celtic Curves - it’s all over every social media site, it’s in every newspaper, and this week is #BodyPositiveWeek. But to be body positive and confident, you need to have the strength to be positive mentally too.
I watch what I eat (but I never diet) and I “workout” a little. I don’t do it to lose weight, I don’t even own a weighing scales. I’m extremely happy and confident in my skin. I do it for fun with my friends. They do more hardcore classes and gym work also, but I go to Zumba and Pilates. I LOVE Zumba and Pilates!!
Zumba is a fast-paced dance to some really good songs and it just gets you out of your head for 40 minutes. You let loose and shake every inch, while not being in a room of judging eyes. I am always sweating after it, and look, as one of my mates says every time “tomato faced”!! But I come out feeling happy and refreshed for doing it. It increases my positive look on life because in raises my endorphins without me feeling like I want to collapse from running 100 miles on a treadmill.
Pilates is relaxed and challenging. My hips don’t move like they used and my size 38F boobs try to smother me several times in class (Haha)!
None of this puts me off though. We do Pilates on a Friday evening, and after a stressful week of being a mammy, partner, friend, college student, daughter, model, blogger...(you get the idea - I’m busy!), I need something to chill me out and relax my mind. I don’t know about you but sometimes 40 minutes of rolling on the floor just listening to yourself breathing can help mellow you out, and also gives you a giggle and a smile when your friends are there beside you looking just as odd!!
In this day and age, mental health awareness has never been more prominent and I can promise you, getting up and out will help clear your head and allow you some “me” time.
We all NEED “me” time.
Why not try it??? Zumba and Pilates are low impact classes and no one there will judge you because we all look as ridiculous as each other bouncing around, and I swear it’s really fun!!
There’s only one me, in one body, and I love her!
Rach @CC xx
#StayFabulous #BodyPositveWeek #ConfidentInMySkin
p.s. as with all physically activities, please seek advice from your GP/class instructor before beginning if you have any underlying medical conditions or injuries.
We at Celtic Curves had the honour of being contacted by Viva Voluptuous for our opinion and review on 2 of their products. We are 6 friends from Ireland who also happen to be plus size women with a background in modelling. Our overall goal is to promote body positivity and raise awareness to appreciate the diversity amongst women. We range in dress size 16 to 24, bra cup sizes B to E and ages 25 to 45. None of us are of similar body shape (we are everything from hour glass, pear, triangle and apple), and we all carry weight in different areas on our bodies.
The items arrived within 3 days of posting from the UK. On opening the packaging, the fresh fragrance filled the room and almost set the mood for what lay beneath. The items were all individually wrapped; they were almost too beautiful to open but we made short work of it in all the excitement! The Black Lara set was immediately seen to be sleek, seducing & sexy. The Yellow Celia set was fun, flirty and feminine and encouraged a side of playfulness to our shoot. The combination of handcrafted lace, silk and sheer chiffon throughout the garments enticed a sense of arousal, while still being elegant in nature.
Now for what we strive to give all our followers, and anyone who contacts us - a totally honest insight to what we felt about the experience and the product. The Black Lara set was a size 42E and the Yellow Celia set a 38E; neither an ideal fit for all of us. So at the beginning of the shoot, the majority of us were honestly pessimistic; how would the pictures look? Would we feel comfortable enough to be that exposed, not only to our friends but a photographer and then the world?
Would the items hide our “flaws” (which we all still feel we have we just try to concentrate on the good)? Were us curvy women sexy enough to wear items of this calibre??.. At the end of the day, we are every day women, we all work, have families and other commitments but what we collectively do have is the confidence inside ourselves to try and the encouragement of the group to succeed.
So, to answer all our original questions and worries… YES… we all fit into the items and, not only did we fit, we rocked them too! They both complimented so many aspects of our bodies, even when none of our bodies are like each others, in size or in shape.
The chiffon allowed coverage for the tummy and hips area by not clinging to the skin, and instead skimming at all the right angles. The silk of the underwired bust accentuated what already lay beneath whilst providing support and shape. The lace/daisy details and length of both the baby dolls and kimonos were eye catching while providing seductive coverage to keep the overall outfits classy and chic.
From all of us at Celtic Curves I can 100% say we LOVED these garments and would have no hesitation on recommending them to family, friends and the greater public. The confidence boost we all received after wearing them was phenomenal. We truly felt sexy from the inside out and hopefully that shows in our pictures. You don’t need to have the “ideal” body to wear this lingerie; you just need the confidence in yourself and after trying them on you will ooze confidence!
Viva Voluptuous where have you been all our lives?!
Rach @ Celtic Curves xx
Black Lara Babydoll - https://vivavoluptuous.com/product/lara-plus-size-black-babydoll-chemise/
Black Lara Kimono - https://vivavoluptuous.com/product/plus-size-luxury-lace-kimono-robe-gown/
Yellow Celia Babydoll - https://vivavoluptuous.com/product/yellow-plus-size-celia-babydoll-chemise/
Yellow Celia Kimono - https://vivavoluptuous.com/product/yellow-plus-size-celia-kimono-gown/
Photography by Mark Leddy - https://www.facebook.com/mark.leddy.14
Models/Review Celtic Curves - https://www.facebook.com/CelticCurves/