designer

A Chat With Delicious Monster Tea

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you’ll know that I used to interview welsh designers pretty regularly. So far I’ve chatted to some of my creative faves including Swag and Tassel and Xandra Jane and I’m so excited that I’m finally getting around to writing some more.

I first spotted Delicious Monster Tea on Instagram after seeing Claire’s t-shirts everywhere and I haven’t stopped following since. From the pink colour scheme to the super cheeky slogans (my personal fave is “thick thighs, thin patience”) there’s nothing not to love. Now that she’s taking the venture full time I thought it was the perfect opportunity to sit down and talk all things embroidery.

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I LOVE the name Delicious Monster Tea, where did it come from?

I wish I had a good answer to this question!! The idea came from the giant monstera plant we have in the lounge (Latin name: monstera deliciosa). I’m not sure where the tea bit came from, but basically it means absolutely nothing!

The slogans on your tees always make me giggle, what was the first one you embroidered?

The first one I did was a “ladyboss” one on a white tee from Primark, and then I want on a spree embroidering everything I owned!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BeKlYjDHGd5/?taken-by=deliciousmonstertea

 

You quit your 9-5! Yass! Living the dream! What’s instore for your brand now that you have so much extra time on your hands?

I can finally start ticking things off my to do list!! I have a few weeks left at work, but I am so stupidly ridiculously excited to finally make a start on the things that have been itching in my brain over the past year. Top of the list are vest tops, embroidery workshops and some DIY blogs.

You’re so active online and I love your Insta stories! How has social media helped to grow your business?

Thank you! I didn’t have any form of social media before I started the business, so it has been a very steep learning curve, and there are often days when I think “what the fuck have I got left to say?!” I haven’t quite figured out Facebook, but I’ve fallen in love with Insta and have ended up meeting so many people from the grid in real life. To be totally honest, my business wouldn’t exist without social media. About 90% of customers currently come from Instagram. I worry that I rely on it too much (there’s a lot of fear mongering at the moment about “what will happen when Instagram dies?”), so on my list for the next few months is to get out and about in the real world, shouting about Delicious Monster Tea.

View this post on Instagram

#notyourbabe 💁 (📷 by @the.littlenomad)

A post shared by Delicious Monster Tea | Claire (@deliciousmonstertea) on

You’re one of my favourite girl bosses in Wales, are there any others who inspire you?

OH, SO MANY!! Again, Instagram is a great tool for finding small businesses and learning from them. @themonday.club (a group of women in business in South Wales, run by @theroamingcaravanco and @sadlerjones) has introduced me to so many great women who are doing their own thing and absolutely smashing it. There are too many to list, but my favourites at the moment are: @potyertitsawayluv (boobs and ceramics), @jazmoodie (embroidered nudes), @tayneetinsley (gorgeous illustration of lovely naked ladies)…..there’s definitely a theme there!

 

Follow Delicious Monster Tea!

Instagram // Facebook // Website

A Fashion Bloggers Guide to Buying Second Hand Designer on Ebay

A-Fashion-Bloggers-Guide-to-Buying-Second-Hand-Designer-on-EbayFinding a bargain piece on eBay makes me feel like I’ve won the fashion lottery, every time it happens. It’s almost as good as picking up a Furla bag in a charity shop for £3.50 because none of the grannies who work there know what it is. These purchases don’t happen everyday but when they do, it feels bloody amazing. As I’ve had my fair share of lucky finds and an eBay account for nearly 10years (I started early), I thought it would be cool to write up a fashion bloggers guide to buying second hand designer on eBay, to help my readers out too.

Do your research: It’s good to know what you’re looking for and to have some background knowledge on the particular item or designer first. Often fakes are really easy to spot but you don’t what to get ripped off paying more than retail either, so your best bet is to get clued up way before you hit eBay.

Focus on one brand/item at a time: Just looking at shoes or bags as a whole will take you months to sift through so you need to get specific about what you want. For example, if you love the Phillip Lim bags searching ‘Phillip Lim bag’ would be good but it’s better to know the exact item e.g. ‘Phillip Lim Pashli bag’ as this will bring you the best results.

Look for real pictures: This may sound like a weird thing to say but if the listing has stock images from a website and it’s not a retailer, then chances are it’s not the item you’re ACTUALLY buying. Especially if the description says it’s second hand, you know it’s not going to be in mint condition. Ask the seller for snaps of the exact item and if they don’t want to send them to you, then it’s likely it’s dodgy.

A-Fashion-Bloggers-Guide-to-Buying-Second-Hand-Designer-on-EbaySave it: Ebay has a function where you can save your favourite searches and sellers for later, so that you can keep checking for new listings. Say you’re searching for a ‘Furla Metropolis Bag’ save your search including location (if you don’t want to pay for shipping for example you can set it to UK only), the maximum price, colour etc. and then check on it once a week for anything new or any discounts. You can also follow your favourite sellers which is good if you find someone who loves the same designer as you and likes to clear out their wardrobe often!

Be prepared to wait: I once watched a Kenzo bag for months. At the beginning the price was £300 and I kept on watching until she reduced it to £60. Often if people really want to get rid of something you can offer them a bit less too and by waiting you’ll figure out if it’s something you still really want.

Don’t be shy about contacting the seller: Designer items are always going to be a little bit more expensive and therefore more risky to buy. If you need some extra info or reassurance the option is there for you to contact the seller and you should use this function as much as you need to. Whether thats for more pictures, to see a proof of purchase or just for piece of mind, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Avoiding Fakes: Obviously this will depend on what you’re buying but there are a few tell tale signs that something isn’t quite what it seems. One of the most popular scams is listing fakes with just a picture of the bag (so you recognise it) but the seller won’t put the brand name in the title to avoid getting caught my eBay. This is because if a fake bag were to be listed under the name of a real one, e.g. “Gucci Dionysus” and eBay saw that it was a fake not only would they take it town but the seller would lose their account. As long as you search your specific item, you’ll likely avoid this but it’s good to be aware. This doesn’t mean that all items listed are real though, so you still need to be really careful. If you’ve done your research and still aren’t sure then you might want to try out using a authenticator service online. You can send them the link to the item and they’ll give you their professional opinion on whether or not it’s legit. This isn’t free but if you’re making a bigger purchase, it’s 100% worth it. Designers like Chanel or Hermes are sold for crazy prices on the second hand market but are also copied on a mass scale so it may be hard for you to tell the difference.

Chanel bags cost more than £5: If the price is too good to be true then it’s probably fake, as much as a bargain purchase can happen it’s very rare and if something looks shady, it probably is. Don’t be lured in and always do your research. I recently picked up a Karl Lagerfeld bag for £40 which is a bargain but not crazy unbelievable, if I found a Chanel for this price though I would know it was dodgy.

Open a case: If you purchase something and it arrives not as described, in bad condition or you think it’s fake then you can open a case with eBay and they’ll help you to resolve the problem. This is obviously worse case scenario but it’s worth knowing that you’re covered just in case.

If it’s the real deal but you don’t like it, you’re not getting a refund: Something else worth mentioning is that eBay doesn’t work like ASOS. There’s no free returns and you can’t just send it back if you don’t like it. Provided everything is legit and it’s as described the seller probably won’t take a return, so just make sure you really want it or would be prepared to sell it on before you buy.

I hope you liked these tips and that you found them useful! Let me know if you have any tricks of your own or if you try these out and pick something up. I’ve also written a post on other places to buy second hand designer online here if you’re interested.

Winter Outfit Inspiration – Casual Sock Boots

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Just before Christmas I had an email from JD Williams asking if I wanted to collaborate on a post and I was SO excited. Initially I was thinking of writing about party shoes (glittery heels included) and putting together some outfit inspo for you guys but then I stumbled onto the ankle boots section and completely forgot all about that. I’m a little bit obsessed when it comes to boots, in fact I already have way too many but there’s just something about a classic boot that’s so versatile, so they always seem like a good investment. These boots are from the Violeta range by Mango and are a casual nod to the sock boot trend that is very much hanging around. Just way more comfy than the stiletto kind! I love how chic they are too and really pull together this everyday outfit with very minimal effort.

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“I think this outfit is very reflective of that too. This is everyday me, not too dressy. It’s just comfort paired with great accessories.”

Just before the new year I felt like I was loosing my creative juice a little bit and I’ve also been struggling to find time (as always) to create new content for this blog. Sometimes getting caught up in comparing yourself to other people can really kill your vibe too but I’m finally learning to zone that out and remember why I started Style Rarebit in the first place. Because I love blogging!

I think this outfit is very reflective of that. This is everyday me, not too dressy. Just comfort paired with great accessories which is pretty much my go to philosophy when it comes to getting dressed. I think we would all agree that the number one goal is to look totally polished without having to make much effort at all. This look is essentially jeans and a jumper but tying a satin ribbon around my waist and dressing it up with a blazer is the perfect way to cheat looking like you’ve made loads of effort. I think that’s why the boots work so well too, being structured they are the perfect day boot if you want to look put together. They also look super expensive and the unusual heel (that metallic is everything!) means they add extra interest if you’re wearing plain clothes. They’re also on sale right now so even more of an incentive to pick them up… I love them with my mom jeans too as they’re tight on the ankle they sit really well underneath and give the illusion that my legs are slimmer.

If you take nothing else from this post just get to investing in some good boots this season that will totally dress up a zero effort look. Maybe even two pairs?

Shop boots here

Photographs by Sarah Barnes

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Get your Tassel Earrings On / Rhian Kate Contemporary Jewellery

style rarebit fashion blogIt’s so important to me to support small businesses. The crafters, artists and creatives that are going out on their own and building a business from nothing are the people who inspire me the most. I love being able to share them with you on here too, people like Xandra Jane, Swag and Tassel and today Rhian Kate Contemporary Jewellery. I’ve been following @RhianKateMakes on Instagram for ages now and her minimal, modern jewellery is as beautiful as it is wearable. She has a really strong design style and a great understanding of how women like to look and feel while wearing jewellery.

“For me when I make jewellery and people decide to wear what I have made it’s exciting, it’s a connection you make with someone that you are not always aware of but what I have made becomes a choice in who they are or what they want to express.” 

rhian kate contemporary jewellerystyle rarebit fashion blogTassel earrings are a statement being made by lots of Instagrammers right now and I really love these red ones. They’re the perfect size, still dramatic but also dainty, feminine and sit at a good length. These and all of Rhian’s other pieces are handmade in Wales using pewter (lead free), acrylic and aluminium. The pretty, textured disc at the top of these earrings is a trademark of hers and runs throughout her collection in various different shapes and styles. It’s a really lovely effect that I haven’t seen anywhere else and makes her pieces a unique investment.

I’ll make sure to put all her links at the bottom of this post so you can see some examples of her work and show her some love. Also If you like these tassel earrings make sure to look at her Instagram for all the colour options too.

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RHIAN KATE // WEBSITE // INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // ETSY
TOP – ASOS
SKIRT – NEW LOOK
PHOTOGRAPHS – SARAH BARNES PHOTOGRAPHY

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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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NIOD Flavanone Mud Mask Review

stylerarebit.comA few weeks ago now I met up with Laura, the PR for Deciem, to chat about the brand which has got every blogger, skincare fanatic and magazine talking. Deciem is also known as The Abnormal Beauty Company and for good reason. They have stripped back on unnecessary packaging, ingredients and false claims to bring us the best in scientific research that REALLY works. Under the umbrella of Deciem are their handful of different brands including The Ordinary (which I have a review of coming soon), NIOD, Fountain and many more. It brings about the change that so many of us have been looking for, moving away from the hype and concentrating on back to basics, affordable skincare that we can trust.

Today I’m reviewing the NIOD Flavanone Mud Mask, which I chose to try because it’s very purifying and effective on spot prone skin. NIOD, which stands for Non Invasive Options in Dermal Science is the most advanced of the Deciem brands. It’s also a good way to describe the look and smell of the Flavanone Mask, it very much feels like a Science project.

cardiff beauty blogger niod flavanone mud maskThe mask is said to have three phases, the Purifying Phase, Protective Phase and Responsive Phase. Combined they decongest the skin without throwing off the balance meaning it gives purifying results that last. It is a mud mask but the consistensy is lighter and more watered down. You only need to apply a small layer to get great results but it’s worth noting that it does sting your skin. This is mentioned in the directions but it feels counterintuitive leaving something on that isn’t so comfortable. However the results are worth the 10 minutes of discomfort. It deeply cleanses your skin and leaves it looking matte but not feeling dry. It also helps to take down the redness of any spots or pigmentation leaving them less angry.

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I read a few reviews before trying it out and a lot of them were saying to use it everyday for the first week and then once a week after that as a top up. I found that everyday was a bit too much for my sensitive skin but using it every few days definitely helped to keep my spots at bay. It’s also worth noting that this has a shelf life of 6 months so you need to be using it often to get through the pot. I’m thinking of taking it down to my chest (as I get a few spots there too) to make the most of the product within that time. I would definitely repurchase this mask again and NIOD is a brand that I really want to explore more.

The Flavanone Mask is £29 and available here.

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The £22 Dungaree Dress I Can’t Stop Wearing

I’ve been looking for a simple dungaree dress for years and I can’t believe I finally found one on a food shop. It’s actually the second piece of clothing I’ve bought from Sainsbury’s recently, the first being an embroidered jacket I saw in the ST Style Magazine.For £22 I’ve worn this quite a lot, it’s easy to pair with things, it’s comfy and it’s a classic. I think there is a lot to be said for supermarket clothing, it might not be the coolest or the best quality but you can definitely pick up some useful basics.

DUNGAREE DRESS : SAINSBURY’S

JUMPER : VINTAGE ELLE

BOOTS : JUST FAB

BAG : ZARA

PHOTOGRAPHY : SARAH BARNES

 

Here’s to 25

Here I am, finally recovered from my neck fiasco and feeling super pumped to blog. I have so much to show you, it really is amazing how much internet shopping you can get done on your sick bed. I’ve also just turned 25 and so I’ve got lots of beautiful presents and party stories to share too.

Equally it has rained so much in Cardiff this week it hasn’t been the weather for celebrating. I know it rains all the time here but it really, really rained… a lot. Therefore my outfits this week have been pretty casual and layered up and that’s kind of my everyday vibe at the moment. I really like wearing a hoodie underneath a smart jacket and heels, I like that it gives things a street wear feel and takes it away from looking too dressy. A hood also keeps my hair dry and my eyeliner smudge free, winner.

 

COAT : ZARA // HOODIE & VEST : PRIMARK // TEE : H&M

JEANS :  MARKS & SPENCER // BELT :  MARKS & SPENCER

BAG :  MARKS & SPENCER // BOOTS : JUST FAB

PHOTOGRAPHY : SARAH BARNES

Wearing cats and my new favourite bag.

Scarf: New Look

Bag: Zara

Photography: Sarah Barnes

Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes Mascara Review

Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes ReviewVolume, curl and definition 9/10
The volume is incredible, I’ve never had a mascara that builds my lashes this much. It gives amazing length as well for a full, thick lash that’s buildable. It is however quite easy to over do, especially if your used to doing layers upon layers with other mascaras. Just remember when using that a little bit goes a VERY LONG way.
 Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes Review
Packaging 10/10
It’s gold, glamorous, femenine and it does not rub off! It’s a testimont to her attention to detail and looks gorgeous in your makeup bag. Far prettier than those ugly Rimmel things in neon!
The brush 7.5/10
When I tried the sample I loved it, the brush was dense but not caked in product. However when I bought the full size it carried a lot more product and didn’t look so full. Sometimes I have to wipe it on the side to get rid of some excess but it’s always heavily loaded. However this is probably how it manages to achieve a dramatic change.
Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes Review
Lasting power 9/10
My lashes stay full all day and they drop far less than with any other mascara I’ve tried which is amazing. The only thing I’ve noticed is that it can be a bit smudgy and I end up getting it around my eye. The consistency is quite oily and you feel it doesn’t really set, I would definitely recommend applying this last and don’t touch it!
Price 7/10
I mean £25 is steep, absolutely, but it’s worth more than a £5 mascara that achieves nothing. You definitely get what you pay for with this and it’s a beautifully packaged item.
Overall 9/10
This is by far the best mascara I’ve ever tried and makes the biggest difference to my lashes. The packaging is gorgeous, it does exactly what you want it to and yes it’s a little pricey but so worth it! If the  smudgey consistency was fixed and it stayed put, it would be a solid 10.

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