Borrago #47 Paloma Blend

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We love nothing better than to enjoy a nice cocktail on a summers evening, here at The Amazing Blog. So we were very curious to try a much talked about new and rather sophisticated non-alcoholic drink, called Borrago’s #47 Paloma Blend. This is a unique substitute for a spirit since they say that it has no alcohol, sugar, fat or calories – frankly, we think it all sounds far too good to be true! The perfect tipple for an urbane barfly, Borrago is a new British brand that was just launched in 2018. Named after the bright blue edible flower, Borage, the brand prides their alternative spirits on their natural, delicious, and beautiful flavouring.

The #47 Paloma Blend is made from six different of steam distilled botanicals which are individually distilled in order to maintain their own unique flavours. This non-alcoholic spirit has a complex zesty taste that has a clean and smooth finish. This blend makes a great base for a cocktail and can be used to replace high-calorie gin or vodka in your favourite drink. However, for our preferred drink, we recommend combining 50 ml of Borrago’s blend with 200ml of tonic water and a lime for a refreshing low-calorie drink. While the major wow factor is the fact that this drink has zero calories and zero alcohol - we mustn't forget to mention how elegant the bottle is… ready to don any table. We just love those hip, bright flowers on the bottle; it makes such a great addition to our drinks cabinet! 

You can purchase a 500ml bottle of the #47 Paloma Blend here for £19.99.

Friday Favourites: Perfume boxes

The scent of a perfume often reveals a person’s personality. Finding the right fragrance that embodies who we are is a struggle. With so many fragrances out there, it can feel impossible to narrow it down. The Amazing Blog has rounded up some fantastic fragrances that we are sure you will love. Whether you prefer a sensual, floral or bold scent, there is something that will suit you. These Discovery and Sample sets are also the perfect gift!

JO LOVES FRANGRANCE DISCOVERY GIFT EXPERIENCE

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The famous Jo Malone rules the fragrance market, and for good reason! Jo started her fast-growing company, Jo Malone London, in her London kitchen. This scent mixologist gained huge recognition for her accomplishments, leading to her selling the company to Estée Lauder Companies in 1999 where she worked as the Creative Director until 2006.

Jo Malone is back with her new company Jo Loves, inspired by her beloved memories. We are so excited to see new beautiful and high-quality fragrances from her! The Jo Loves Fragrance Discovery Gift Experience is a wonderful way to explore some of Jo Malone’s long-lasting incredible scents to find one that best suits you. The Fragrance Discovery Gift Experience consists of ten 2ml vials. The best part? Jo Loves will send you your favourite fragrance in the form of a 50ml bottle of Eau de Toilette. The fragrances include Pomelo, White Rose & Lemon Leaves, Mandarin, Smoked Plum & Leather, Red Truffle 21, Shards of Cedar & Red Thyme, No. 42 The Flower Shop, Gardenia, Pink Vetiver, and Green Orange & Coriander. With this wide array of aromas to test and choose from, you are sure to fall in love with at least one!

Our go-to of the bunch has to be the Smoked Plum & Leather, but you can purchase the set here for £105 to see which one you fancy.

SANA JARDIN DISCOVERY SET

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Next up, we’ve got the Sana Jardin Discovery Set. Sana Jardin is the first socially-conscious luxury fragrance brand. They strive to create social change through commerce called The Beyond Sustainability Movement. This movement aims to make female entrepreneurs agents of change in their communities while preserving that commnicity's skills. This set comes with seven vials of 2ml Eau de Parfums. The first fragrance is Berber Blonde No. 1, which has a slightly musky aroma with beautiful notes of Moroccan orange blossom and North African neroli. Tiger By Her Side No. 2 is just as seductive as the name suggests. It has notes of amber, Moroccan rose, patchouli and Somalian Incense. It is the perfect scent for those who want to get in touch with their wild side. Savage Jasime No. 3 is a rather heady, musky scent as well, but with a floral twist from the infusion of Moroccan jasmine.

Sandalwood Temple No. 4 is a blend of East Indian Sandalwood, cedarwood, Madagascan vanilla, neroli, and Haitian vetiver. It all comes together to create a wonderfully seductive scent that is sure to turn heads once others get a whiff. Celestial Patchouli No. 5 has an intense and rich aroma with notes of patchouli, leather, sandalwood. Not only that, there are floral hints of rose and jasmine with a touch of cinnamon bark for an invigorating experience. Nubian Musk No. 6 is another musky scent that is amplified by a bit of vanilla, jasmine, rose, and grapefruit flower. Revolution De La Fleur No. 7 is a tropical and floral fragrance comprised of Moroccan ylang-ylang and frangipani.

If these fragrances have caught your interest, you can purchase the 7 x 2ml vials of Eau de Parfum from Sana Jardin Discovery Set here for £30.

 

APRIL AROMATICS

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One of our newest discoveries is the Deluxe Sample Set from April Aromatics. Founded by perfumer Tanja Bochnig in New York, April Aromatics perfumes are free from animal ingredients (besides beeswax), certified organic or wild-crafted, and contain 100% natural ingredients. In addition, the packaging is recyclable! The April Aromatics 7 Chakra Oil Set was a winner of the 2018 Beauty Shortlist Editors' Choice Award

With this set, you receive 10 out of the range of 15 fragrances that they offer. Each Eau de Parfum vial contains 2.5ml of the fragrance, which they say equates to about 28 spritzes. These scents are deliciously intense and super long-lasting. To make the choice a bit easier on you, for the summer evenings, we recommend adding Ray of Light and Rosenlust to your list. These two have unique and evocative aromas that we don’t want to ever run out! Ray of Light has notes of lemon, lime, pink grapefruit, and bergamot. A citrus infusion! Rosenlust contains a soft floral mix of tonka, ambrette, and sandalwood.

You can purchase the Deluxe Sample Set of 10 x 2.5ml vials of Eau de Parfum from April Aromatics here for €111.

EDEN PERFUMES SAMPLE GIFT BOX

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If you are looking for an environmentally-conscious scent, then we recommend Eden Perfumes. Eden Perfumes is a family-run vegan company from beautiful Brighton. They say: "Botanical cruelty-free perfumes consciously crafted with respect to the planet and all beings." Their products are 100% vegan and not tested on animals. They have similar, not identical, scents to popular ones on the market with over 200 fragrances to choose from, all of the fragrances come in Eau de Parfum strength, not Eau de Toilette! Unlike many others, Eden Perfumes doesn't contain animal notes, such as musk, milk, and honey.

We tried a Sample Gift Box where you can choose your own three combinations. The one that Eden Perfumes sent us contained these three scents: No. 309 Daisy (a floral, woody musk), No. 420 Ispahan Oud (oriental floral; unisex), and No. 475 Neroli (subtly sweet and citrus aromatic; unisex). While those three scents are wildly different and luxurious, we were drawn to Daisy and felt that with its versatility, it could to be worn day through to night. Eden Perfumes has dozens of scents, all of which are very reasonably priced. We deeply encourage you to see the full range for a little spoiling fragrance spree.

Purchase an Eden Perfumes Gift Box of 3  x 10ml bottles of your choice for £21.60 here. Curious about the scents we highlighted? Then you too can purchase a 30ml bottle of No. 309 Daisy, No. 420 Ispahan Oud, and No. 475 Neroli for £18.00 each.

We'd like to give a special thank you to April Aromatics for sending us a 30ml bottle of Rose L’Orange, which we will be reviewing in August. We hope that we have inspired you with our choices. Now get spritzing! 

Mark. Epic Lipstick by AVON

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We love to wear brightly coloured lipsticks in the summer and find that just a pop of colour to the lips can not only make us feel good but really makes us stand out amongst the crowd. At The Amazing Blog we have very high standards when it comes to finding lipsticks that we trust. Lipstick must be long-lasting, moisturising, easy to apply and have a smooth airbrushed finish. On that note, we are happy to share that mark. Epic Lipstick by AVON has certainly fulfilled some of our requirements!

Besides their bold colours, these mark. Epic lipsticks stand out to us for a variety of reasons. The first being that they have a built-in primer. This built-in primer offers three main benefits: Long-lasting colour, an airbrushed finish, and moisturised lips. In fact, with just one quick application these lipsticks lock in 36% more moisturise than by having bare lips. Instead of leaving lips feeling cakey, these lipsticks left our lips with a soft and balm-like feel. Their ‘precision tip bullet’ gave a simple clean application to the lips, and the  SPF 15 protection is for us a real bonus.

We were sent six different shades to try, although these mark. Epic Lipsticks are also available in 22 different shades. So no matter what kind of look you are going for, be it casual or for a night out, there is a shade for every occasion. All the classic reds and pinks are available but there are also some more unique colours such as blue, turquoise, grey and purple.  We fell for the shade ‘blue suede’ which is this bold slate blue shade (not for the faint-hearted) perfect with denim or just for taking selfies on Instagram. You can check out the 22 different shades of mark. Epic Lipstick by AVON online, including their two online exclusive lipsticks; ‘Wave Runner’ and ‘Grey Matters’ here each selling for £8.00.

Zonin Prosecco - DOC Cuvée 1821

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Here at The Amazing Blog, we use any excuse to pop a cork and celebrate! We love to have a refreshing chilled bottle bubbly at the end of a hard working day.  A big thank you goes to  Zonin UK who kindly sent us a bottle of their very special Prosecco DOC Cuvée 1821. Zonin was founded in Italy in 1821. It is a branch of Casa Vinicola Zonin, the largest private vine growing and winemaking company in Italy. They now have UK branch to help ensure that they maintain the quality of their wines imported 'from grape to glass'. From the very first sip, this refreshing sparkling wine brought us a taste of Italy, which we couldn’t wait to share with friends.

This Zonin Prosecco hails from north-east Italy. It is made solely from the Glera grapes, giving it a fruity and aromatic taste with hints of wisteria flowers and Rennet apples. As this bubbly beverage hit our taste buds, we also noticed a very subtle toasted almond flavour. Recently, this Prosecco went through some redesign. We love the stylish teal detailing on the label and the elegantly new curved bottle. We think that this Prosecco makes both an ideal gift as well as a perfect aperitif. The versatility of the flavour works well with a variety of recipes so it can be paired with almost any dish on your menu – even desserts! This Prosecco has 11% ABV and is recommended to be served at 5-7° C.

You can purchase a gift set, which includes a bottle of the Zonin Prosecco DOC Cuvée 1821 here for £35. In this gift set, you'll also receive two chic diamante embellished champagne flutes - bonus! 

 

Utopia Skincare

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As our readers of The Amazing Blog will know we're always striving for perfection - well, perhaps only in our dreams! So when we heard about ‘Utopia Skincare’ we wanted to see if the products really lived up to their name... Made in the UK, Utopia Skincare was created by Chris Smith, an award-winning skincare formulation scientist who invented the patented anti-ageing antioxidant complex used in the renowned Boots’ No7 Protect and Perfect Serum. It has been specifically designed for women with mature skin, to help prevent signs of premature ageing before, during and after menopause. What make this range unique is cutting edge 'Adaptive Skincare Technology' which uses ingredients that literally adapt to the skin’s particular needs. The range also contain a pollution defence formula which claims to protect the skin from 'harmful environmental aggressors' that speed up the ageing process.  What makes Utopia’s product line stand out for us, is their Derma Complex which is a combination of eight ingredients that work together to create a more youthful looking complexion. This complex is able to penetrate down to the lower levels of the dermis and restore collagen and elastin fibres, thus reducing and preventing the appearance of wrinkles. All of Utopia’s products are collagen boosting, pore refining, paraben free, and silicone free. They are also suitable for vegans and vegetarians

The first of the three products that we were sent was their Hydrating Day Cream. This advanced formula  contains retinol, SPF 30 and UVA protection to help prevent sun damage and other pollutants. Our skin definitely felt more hydrated throughout the day, but what really appealed to us was that it contains a lot of ceramides, sterols and other skin lipids; also the SPF in the cream which gives extra protection under make-up. It is easy to use, simply apply a pea-sized amount to your face and neck each morning. It also works well as a primer and lets the foundation just glide smoothly on.

The second product was their Nourishing Night Cream; this cream works to restore the skin to its optimum hydration level overnight and also removes dead skin cells. When applied to the face, the cream is instantly soothing, giving improve firmness and elasticity, we also liked the texture and smell. It works deep down at the dermal-epidermal and has three star ingredients; these are exopolysaccharide, vitamin E and ceramide-rich oat oil. Exopolysaccharide helps to rebuild skin, vitamin E absorbs toxic free radicals, and ceramide-rich oil brings hydrates the skin.

The final one of our trio is the Instant Firming Eye Serum it treats the under eye area, which is probably one of the most challenging areas of the face to repair. Utopia Skincare has formulated this Serum to help reduce dark circles, crows feet and puffiness. It contains pepha-tight to immediately reduce under eye bagsneodermyl which combined offers the best of the latest anti-ageing technologies. Utopia claims that when used over the course of two weeks, it has the same wrinkle reducing effect as that of a collagen injection! We can't vouch for this, but it did leave the eye area of our Exec Ed's plumped up and smoother.

You can purchase a 50ml tub of Utopia’s Hydrating Day Cream here for £34. A 50 ml tub of Utopia’s Nourishing Night Cream here for £34, and a 15 ml tube of Utopi­­­a’s Inst­­­­ant Firming Eye Serum here for £27.