cardiff

Trying out Kenra Haircare

kendra-haircare-review-style-rarebit It’s been just over a year that I had my big bleach disaster and lost a lot of my hair in an attempt to go grey. Even though this killed my confidence for the longest time, its actually forced me to get a lot more clued up on haircare. About a month after this disaster I also started working with Salon Success who send hair products out to bloggers to review on their blogs. It seemed like the best coincidence in the world and some of the products I’ve reviewed this year have seriously improved the condition and manageability of my hair. I owe them a lot!

This is 100% true of Kenra too and I’ve honestly found some holy grail products for me in their range. I thought that for today’s post I would work through each one and explain why I like them and how they’re fitting into my routine. I’m by no means a professional! But hopefully I can clue you up on some products that will work for you.kendra-haircare-review-style-rarebit kendra-haircare-review-style-rarebit The Kenra Moisturising Shampoo and Kenra Moisturising Conditioner are not like any other I’ve tried that are specific to dry hair. At first I thought it was strange that they weren’t as thick or oily as other shampoos and conditioners for dry hair which if i’m being honest made me a little bit sceptical. Once my hair was dry though it looked glossy and healthy and had way more volume. Rather than just weighing it down, the products had left my hair moisturised but also clean and light which I absolutely love. They are a holy grail product for thin hair for sure!

kendra-haircare-review-style-rarebit One of my favourite products is the Kenra Silkening Mist, a fine spray that adds instant hair advert worthy shine while making your locks smoother and more manageable too. I love using this after curling my hair as an end step to make it look really glossy and it also helps to disguise my frazzled ends (YASS).

The Kenra Volume Spray 25 is their most hyped product and has won the Stylist Choice Award for Best Hairspray 11 times in a row. It’s the perfect combination of giving a really strong hold to your hairstyle while also looking natural and allowing movement. Gone are the days of crunchy hairspray gurl!

The product I’ve used the least is the Kenra Root Lifting Spray even though that’s what I need the most. This is just a personal thing but I’m a little bit lost when it comes to using a moose. I’m not sure if I’m applying it right but when I worked this into my roots it did give me a lot of lift. It also dries in the same way a hairspray does to hold that lift all day and it kind of smells like watermelons too!

kendra-haircare-review-style-rarebit My most used of all these products has been the Kenra Blow-Dry Spray  mainly because it’s easy to use and it protects against heat up to 220°C which is perfect when I want to style my hair. It reduces blow-drying time too (amazing!), tames frizz and softens your hair making it easier to work with. It’s also very lightweight which makes it perfect for thin hair like mine as it doesn’t feel heavy or tacky like some other heat protectors I’ve tried.

Lastly the Kenra Revive Oil is amazing for smoothing over your strands and making them look shiner and feel softer. I love using this on the ends of my hair, especially in the morning as it keeps my hair from looking less dry throughout the day. I’ve also barely used any so far, so I feel like this would last you forever as one pump goes a really long way. The only weird thing about this one, is that it smells like mens cologne, which isn’t a bad thing and it’s not overwhelming but I was surprised at how different the scent was from the other products.

I’ve linked everything in this post but if you need any more info or want to ask some more questions leave them in the comments and I’ll get back to you asap. I’ve really loved using this range and I feel its made a big difference to my hair and has definitely helped me through the awkward growing out a bad haircut/dye stage.

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Choosing the perfect perfume gift with Fragrance Direct

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Perfume is the one gift that seems to really panic people, perhaps because fragrance has always been a very personal thing. Often our favourite ones are connected to memories or people that are really special to us and when buying for someone else, it’s something you really want to get right. As scary as shopping for perfume sounds it’s actually a lot easier than you think and can be a lot of fun too. So, to take the pressure off, I thought I would share with you a few of my top tips for fragrance shopping and 3 of my favourites this season for the special gals in your life.

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Top tips when shopping for a perfume gift

1. Always keep the person you’re shopping for in mind and try not to be swayed by your own personal taste.

2. Think about what they like, their favourite food, fashion brands and lifestyle and what would work for them. If you know of another fragrance they love, even if it’s a candle, that can be a perfect starting point. It’s also important to consider their age, your 18 year old niece isn’t going to love Shalimar in the same way your grandma will…

3. Don’t just look at the bottle, it might be gorgeous but it’s whats inside that counts! Make sure you read the description and get clued up on all the ingredients. It’s also worth remembering how the fragrance notes work in perfume too. The top notes are what you smell immediately after spraying it, the medium notes are what comes through as the perfume dissipates on the skin and the base notes are the deeper scents that come through after around 30 minutes of wear.

4. Try and figure out which fragrance family you want to stick to, whether it’s floral, oriental, woody, aromatic or otherwise. This will help you to narrow down your search and keep you on the right track.

5. It may sound random but consider their personality. There is such a thing as a bold fragrance and it’s an unlikely match for a shy wallflower. You want them to feel comfortable wearing the scent and you don’t want it to overpower them.

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Chloe Signature Eau de Parfum Spray

When Fragrance Direct told me that the concept of their campaign was giving the perfect fragrance gift, I instantly thought of my mum. Hence the cute picture of us above! Her signature fragrance has been the Chloe Eau de Parfum since it first came out. It’s also the perfect gift if you’re buying for someone with a love of fashion, who’s refined and likes delicate fragrances. It’s a combination of peony, lychee and freesia mixed with warm amber and cedar wood making it a very sophisticated and elegant scent.

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BOSS The Scent Intense For Her Eau de Parfum

The next perfume I chose for someone like me. I love fragrances and I also love experimenting, I have a few go-to favourites but I’m always up for trying something new. The Scent Intense by Hugo Boss is a much bolder fragrance than the Chloe one and has top notes of honeyed peach and freesia blossom which are feminine but not too sweet. This is mixed with the warm scents of cocoa and vanilla which combined makes it a perfect shout for the winter months. I am also completely in love with the bottle, it’s so luxurious and the colour is totally divine.

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Lacoste Eau de Lacoste L12 12 Pour Elle Sparkling EDT

Lastly this gorgeous, fruity fragrance from Lacoste is perfect for someone with more a playful personality and who prefers more subdued scents. The sweet florals are mixed with a woody and patchouli base as well as a touch of french macaroon, delicious! It’s a perfectly girly, everyday scent that doesn’t feel to dressy or over the top and would definitely be a safe option for someone younger too.

christmas-perfume-fragrance-direct-style-rarebit-1If you need any more inspiration on picking up the perfect gift Fragrance Direct have created a Thoughtful Gift Guide just in time for Christmas that will help you with your search.

I hope this post has given you a boost in confidence before the chaos of Christmas shopping begins and that you’re as excited to get into the spirit as I am! Happy holidays!

Sock Boots at Sunset

sock-boots-style-rarebitSo after not buying clothes for a full three months, I thought it was about time I treated myself to a little wardrobe update. I was on the look out for a trend piece that would refresh my outfits for the winter season and sock boots just felt like a perfect choice. They are 100% the blogger item du jour right now and they also happen to be pretty flattering too. I saw that they make it look like you have never ending legs if you wear them with black trousers and that pretty much made my decision for me.

Sometimes a pick me up is all you need to revive old pieces and feel excited about your wardrobe again. Everything else I’m wearing with these I’ve had for ages but the boots instantly make my outfit look relevant and on trend. It’s funny but as I’m getting older I’m starting to be more picky about the things I invest in. I really want to start saving for some special pieces and cut back on the amount I spend getting quick fixes. This is mainly where my three month ban from shopping came from! It’s been a great way for me to really get to know my wardrobe and think about the clothes I most love to wear.

I honestly believe that style has nothing to do with how much money you have to spend on clothes though or being able to get the latest thing. It’s all about creativity and individuality and no amount of money can buy that!

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Cardiff Gin Festival

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I felt like doing a write up on this was 100% necessary because honestly, who doesn’t love gin? I remember first getting into it because it’s pretty low calorie as far as alcohol goes but still not quite as vile as vodka. However after several messy nights and several more bottles I feel like I’ve become a little bit of connoisseur. Or at the very least, a little bit of an alcoholic. So, as you can imagine, getting invited to Cardiff gin festival was pretty exciting…

cardiff-gin-festival On the Friday me and my friend Hannah arrived at Portland House to start the festivities. When you first go in you get given a wristband, just like a music festival! This is the best idea ever as you can actually load up your wristband with money for the night, rather than paying in cash. This means you don’t have to faf about with change and there are barely any queues. You also get given your gin cup in a cross body bag which you recycle for every drink you get. They wash your cup for you and refill it properly every time you get a new drink and you also get to take it home! It’s honestly worth going just to get the cup and bag. I can’t think of anything more phenomenal than going about your daily business with a glass of gin strapped across your chest. Can you?

cardiff-gin-festivalOnce you have your cup and you’ve loaded up your wristband you can then hit the bars and start trying out some strange flavours. I initially went for a cucumber gin, playing it very safe but it was so refreshing and a good one to start with. I then decided to try a gin that was filtered through seaweed (I’m sorry I didn’t take down all the names!) this gin however I wouldn’t recommend. It was a triumph in flavouring but it literally tasted like I was drinking sushi. Lastly I picked up a rhubarb and custard cocktail which was super sweet and delicious and a good drink to finish on. I know three drinks doesn’t seem like a lot but the glasses are big and it’s a lot of liquid to drink. The staff at the bar are amazing too and gave us so many great recommendations and were really friendly and helpful.

cardiff-gin-festivalLastly, there’s a few things I wanted to mention which aren’t cons but something that I think you should be aware of before you go. One thing we didn’t realise was that you could have different mixers, I think they’re sat somewhere else on the bar but someone mentioned this to us afterwards and I felt like we missed out on trying some different flavours. Also, there aren’t many tables and it’s all standing so make sure you don’t take all your work stuff with you (like me) because you’ll have to carry it around with you the entire night.

cardiff-gin-festivalLater on in the evening they had a band playing and more people were getting up to dance. It was such a fun night and if you have a birthday or a special occasion coming up it’s a cool place to go and celebrate, try something new and it’s not too loud that you can’t talk either.

If you’d like to go to the next Cardiff Gin Festival or want to find one closer to you then click the link here to find out more.

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Hunkemoller Backless and Strapless Stick On Bra

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At first a post about the Hunkemoller Backless and Strapless stick on Bra could look random in comparison to the other content on here but it’s actually really, really relevant. Shapewear may not be on your radar as a must have fashion item but having the right underwear can make or break an outfit. We’ve all seen the classic off white strap poking out of a dress or running across some poor girls back. If you’re not brave enough to go braless but want to avoid that major faux pas then this is going to be the review for you.

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THE DESIGN : I think it’s so clever and simple and I love that it’s shaped to give you a perfectly symmetrical silhouette. The sticky tabs sit at the bottom of the cups and under your arms for the best support and are comfortable too. I went for the black (as this is all I wear) but it also comes in nude if you wanted to wear it under something light.

THE FIT : This bra is a really lovely shape and is similar to a balcony bra in terms of the silhouette it gives you.  At first I thought it felt a bit weird because it kind of just cups your boobs and sits lower than a normal bra but it wasn’t uncomfortable. It actually gives you a really natural and flattering shape and is a nice alternative from super push up bras. When putting it on I would recommend standing in front of a mirror and starting in-between your boobs. I say this because I was struggling to get it in the right place and it’s also way easier when sticking down the tabs on the side as they sit a bit lower than you’d think. It doesn’t come in conventional sizes but in S,M,L,XL so you’ll have to check the size guide to figure out which is best for you. It’s also worth mentioning that it covers cup sizes A-E so if you’re bigger or smaller than that you may not find the right fit for you.

hunkemoller-backless-and-strapless-braTHE WEARABILITY: I decided to add these pictures to give you more of an idea of what you could wear the bra with. The dress on the left I thought would be perfect for this but it actually doesn’t come around far enough to cover the side of the bra. If you had something that was more of a scoop shape at the back though like the dress on the right you would be totally covered. I thought I would mention this incase, like me, you had something specific in mind where a lot of your back was exposed.  I also want to mention that you need to have completely clean skin in order for the bra to stick. If you’ve put moisturiser on or recently applied a fake tan you’ll find it hard to make it stick. I found the tabs at the side were coming unstuck when I was wearing it because of my deodorant so this is definitely something to bear in mind! It is however super comfortable and really lightweight so you pretty much just forget you’re wearing it. It also gives you a really smooth contour so you won’t get any ridges under tighter clothes as you do with some conventional strapless bras.

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Let me know what you think of this or if you’d like some more outfit pictures. I think it’s great for dainty dresses if you just want something comfortable that will make you feel more covered. I’ve found mine really useful and I think it’s a great shapewear piece to keep in your wardrobe, even just for special events!

Click here to shop the The Hunkemoller Backless and Strapless Bra £32

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Designing my perfect phone case with Case Station UK

case-station-uk I use my iPhone for absolutely everything, it’s a lifeline for me. It wakes me up in the morning, it tells me what my plans are for the day and for the most part it runs this blog too. As I rely on it so much I usually go for a case that is a.bulletproof and b.really ugly. I didn’t think pretty phone cases would ever be heavy duty enough to withstand the amount of times I drop my phone in a day. This is why I have been so impressed by this Case Station UK one so far and will probably buy from these guys from now on. If only I had found out years ago that the holy grail of pretty and durable cases does in fact exist…

case-station-ukCase Station UK got in touch with me about trying one of their cases and I was really excited to design my perfect one. It’s a really easy site to use, you just select the model of your phone, the style of case you want and the finish, either matt or shiny. Keeping in mind I need something to protect mine from drops I chose their TOUGH Extra durability case for my iPhone 7plus which has an inner TPU liner for extra protection. You can then add your own image or choose from their images, stamps and designs to create whatever look you want. I fell in love with this print by the artist Meghann Rader  but I was toying between this and something with my initials on for ages. I really like the colours in this print though and the unpolished brush strokes, its so pretty!

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When it arrived I was really impressed by the quality, its absolutely beautiful. It feels way stronger and more substantial than any other case I’ve had before. It doesn’t feel really bulky or annoying either, some phone cases seem to add inches to your phone but this is definitely not one of them. It looks and feels so expensive too, especially in comparison to my old one, the finish is really beautiful and it fits my phone perfectly.

You also get a Nano Pro Liquid Glass Protection set with your case which coats your phone and protects it from bacteria, scratches and dirt. I was so impressed with this and the entire service from Case Station. Everything from the product, to the packaging and the customer service is perfect. I couldn’t recommend treating yourself to one more!

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This case was sent to me for free but all opinions are my own.

Design your own Case Station UK Case here

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The £25.99 Zara Mom Jeans

zara-mom-jeansRecently I’ve really been into the idea of moving on from skinny jeans into some styles that are a bit more fashion forward and a lot more flattering. With this in mind two weeks ago I asked on my Instagram stories for some advice on finding a good pair of mom jeans.  There was a pretty unanimous responce about a pair from Zara so I felt like I at least had to go and try them on.

zara-mom-jeansAt first I wasn’t sure if they were high waisted enough for me but I think it was just getting used to jeans that are cut very differently and without any stretch. I have 100% come around to them though, I love how they give me a nice shape and look a little more grungy than skinnies. I’m not going to lie they are nowhere near as comfy as my 80% stretch skinnies but it’s just something to bear in mind.

They’re the best pair I’ve found on the high street though, especially at this price point and in so many different washes. If you’re looking to try out a pair I would definitely recommend and they have honestly become a staple of mine already. This cut is perfect if you have a bigger bum and legs like me as it kind of skims over everything and creates that hourglass look for you. If you want some more inspo keep an eye on my Instagram because I’m probably going to have these on a lot in the next few months. Especially with some big fluffy jumpers!

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mom jeans // zara

photography // sarah barnes        

 

A night at Aaron Wise Apartments

cardiff fashion blogI encourage other people to start blogs all the time, in fact, if you’re reading this and don’t have a blog, you should really consider starting one. Never in a million years did I think writing from my bedroom would lead to the opportunities it has but last Tuesday, while sat in an Aaron Wise apartment, I could not have felt more grateful.

If you didn’t manage to catch my instagram story, me and my Mum spent the night at the newly opened Aaron Wise Serviced Apartments across the river from the Millennium Stadium. It was one of those ‘pinch me’ moments and it really felt like a trip away, even though we were ten minutes from home! The apartments are absolutely beautiful, modern and fully equipped with everything you could possibly need for a break in the city.

cardiff fashion blogThey have all the luxury feel of a high end hotel, prosecco on arrival, robes on the bed and a huge bathroom but with the privacy and comfort of your own space.  I’ve tried airbnb a few times because I prefer the apartment vibe but it can be hit-and-miss, whereas this is a guaranteed alternative that is far better.

The Aaron Wise Apartments are also right in the heart of the city, so if you’re here for the rugby, a concert or just a weekend away you don’t have to worry about taxi’s or directions. We went out to Wahaca for dinner which is on The Hayes and it was less than a 5 minute walk away. Aaron Wise have also created a Cardiff hotspot map which I’ve put below, so that you can see how close they are to all the main destinations.

The apartment we stayed in was a one bedroom but they have a two bedroom apartment for up to four people if you’re travelling in a group. Our apartment had a large kitchen too , with everything you need to make dinner at home as well as a coffee machine of dreams for the morning. The price of staying is also really reasonable for the location and the standard of the apartments, as well as the fact that you have privacy and lots of amenities. I couldn’t rate my stay here more highly, even though it was only one night I felt like an absolute princess and being able to walk to work in 5 minutes was amazing too.

If I win the lottery I might even move in…

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I would like to thank Aaron Wise Apartments for the complimentary stay, it was amazing!

This is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.

Photography by Sarah Barnes

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Spectrum Collections Cardiff Blogger Event

stylerarebit.comEvery once in a while there’s a beauty blogger event that comes along that you just can’t quite believe you got an invite to. This was 100% one of them. Spectrum Collections is the brand that broke Instagram and has captured the hearts of every makeup and unicorn lover worldwide. Started in a garage in Barry by two sisters, Sophie and Hannah Pycroft, this night was a real celebration of female entrepreneurial and creative talent.

There were so many exciting things going on including a nail bar by Nails Inc, sweet treats from Candy Kittens and drinks from Dirty Martini. The decor was unbelievable cool too, I loved the neon sign and giant purple stag but the real beauties were the flowers from The Urban Flower Studio. I need some gold Monstera leaves in my life asap. Mid way through the night we watched a live makeup tutorial by their in-house makeup artist. She perfected a pink smoky eye quicker than I can make toast, while the founders answered all our burning beauty questions.

It’s also really impressive and important to mention that Spectrum are 100% cruelty free. They even make vegan brush soap so that you can care for your brushes in a safe way too. It’s lovely that such a new and cool brand is so aware of that and working to make cruelty free the norm. Running with this theme, Vegan restaurant Milgi was at the event serving up some insane plant based dishes. These included some yummy raw cocoa balls of which I ate most of (sorry) and some really amazing salads.

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Flowers by The Urban Flower Studio and the Pearly Queen and Glam Clam sets.stylerarebit.com

Here I am!

Sweet treats from Milgi and the amazing venue decor.

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stylerarebit.com The live makeup tutorial in action.My gorgeous Must-Have Minis brush set that I received in my goody bag. This A-17 is amazing! a beauty blogger’s dream.

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Officially Obsessed with Pro Nails

Since starting Style Rarebit I’ve discovered a lot of new brands that have really upped my beauty game. Going to events for product launches and companies that I haven’t heard of before is so exciting and satisfying when you come across something good. Especially when it’s a beauty product that solves a lot of problems. Like flaky nail problems for example.

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ProNails is one of the biggest nail brands in Europe and has recently developed a new way of applying Gel Polish called SoPolish Care, Protect & Peel. They invited me and my fellow welsh bloggers to try it out and learn more about the brand. If you didn’t see it on my Instagram story it’s basically a concept that was inspired by a Compeed blister plaster which works by putting a film over your nails before the application. The idea is that when you peel off the Gel, your nail will have been protected underneath. They also apply their Vital Nail Serum under the film so that your nail will be shinier and healthier after removing it than before the treatment. I decided to go for the super 70s shade above, which clashed really badly with the dress I was wearing in number 88 I’ve Got Your Back. I thought it was really pretty with my skin tone but still nice and bright for summer. The finished effect was really smooth and shiny like a normal gel and didn’t feel heavy or tough on my nails at all. They didn’t last me as long as I wanted them to but with my job I knew that would happen. However some of my fellow bloggers are still posting pictures of theirs now 2 weeks later and they look perfection.  stylerarebit.com

stylerarebit.comI thought I would post some pictures of the normal nail polishes that I received in my goody bag too so you can see what the ‘at home’ quality is like. I’ve been really obsessed with the polishes above and they are making a big difference to the condition of my nails. I use the Active Hardener (purple) to prime which is a great base and the Gloss it Up topcoat over the colour which stops chipping. I’ve noticed that my polish last a few days longer using these two than normal which is really impressive for me.

In the photo below I’m wearing the Pro Nails Polish no.58 Rouge Amour with the two polishes above to prime and finish. I’m not the best at painting nails but you can see how shiny they are and how bold the colour is. I can’t wait for a salon to open in Cardiff soon though so I can get the gels done again!

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See more ProNails products and find a salon here

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