Vegetarian

War Paint Makeup For Men - Concealer/ Tinted Moisturiser

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Stand by your beds troops, we are about to be brought to attention - or is that ‘TEN-SHUN’? Well, whichever is besides the point, just so long as our skin is primed and ready for action… if not, the very exciting range from Warpaint Makeup For Men that has been lined up with military precision on this desk at The Amazing Blog is just what you need. Brace yourselves boys, we have got to pull our socks up and focus on bringing our grooming regime up to scratch, or accept defeat in the face of … well the face really!

Warpaint Makeup For Men, was launch by Daniel Gray who shares with us his struggle with body dysmorphic disorder, which propelled him on his journey starting the brand and helping other, he tells us: “I still struggle every single day with how I look but every day I’m learning how to handle it and I wouldn’t have progressed and come as far as I have if it hadn’t of been for makeup”. He also went on to say, “I’m in no way saying that makeup is a cure for bullies, or a miracle serum for low self-esteem and lack of confidence. But using makeup has really helped me manage my BDD and by creating War Paint, I hope it opens a door for men to also get the support they need from makeup.” The brand has broken the stigma that makeup is just for women by creating this masculine looking range of vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics. Apparently, there is a difference between men and women’s skin, men’s skin ranges from nearly 25% thicker due to the testosterone production which in turn creates more sebum and increases the oil produced.

Taking care of our skin is nothing new, in fact unless we have been cowering under a stone for the past 20 years, then each of us will have to some extent a daily routine of keeping our skin in as perky a condition as possible - the fact we are here tapping away merrily on the laptop at all is evidence of that. However, the inevitable has become mainstream, and now simply maintaining what Mother Nature gave us, is not enough - now we have to be making the very best of what we have with the help of Warpaint- great name to help recruitment, and great product for those of us who have already signed up and are now committed to showing ourselves at our best on the frontline!

The Tinted Moisturiser  is three products in one - a foundation, moisturiser and concealerLight and easily absorbed, the tint just gives an extra depth to your skin tone, and if you need help choosing what skin type you are, then head over to here to see all the options to discover. For heavier blemishes or scars, we have the Warpaint Concealer in our arsenal to help cover those up, containing tea tree oil to boost the epidermis whilst in action. As a tip, we found using the handy shaped Face Sponge to apply the concealer which is available as part of the full range, made life a lot easier, but both products can be applied with the fingers if unarmed combat is more your thing. Costing £22 for 30ml of the Tinted Moisturiser here and £18 for a 5g pot of Concealer here, funding this weaponry for the daily battle ahead isn’t going to break the bank. All products are available through their website  here. BTW with every one their Concealers that you buy, War Paint will donate 50p from each concealer sale to CALM Campaign Against Living Miserably. This charity promotes the freedom of talking about the burdens that men face and the positive affect that a simple chat can have, when you’re just not feeling quite yourself. So remember troops - YOUR skin needs YOU!

PHB Ethical Beauty's Gentle Cleanser

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Anyone with sensitive, dry or eczema-prone skin will know that finding skincare is somewhat of a challenge. It is particularly difficult to find a gentle and effective cleanser; and as some of us suffer from mild eczema at The Amazing Blog, we thought it was about time to actively search for new and effective products. This is when we returned to one of our trusted favourites: PHB Ethical Beauty, a vegan, ethical and organic brand, bringing gentle skincare to the market, without an ounce of medical looking packaging. Regular readers will recognise this brand, having featured both their Skin Brighten Gel (see here) and 2-in-1 Hand and Body Moisturiser (see here). With raving reviews previously, we were excited to test whether their Gentle Cleanser would live up to expectations.

PHB Ethical Beauty is a family-run company providing a range of natural, handmade and palm oil free products. The brand is similarly alcohol-free, and halal certified - inclusive to all, no matter skin type or religion. One particularly admirable element of the brand is their charitable contribution, with 20% of net profits going directly to charities across the UK and around the world. There is a reason for the name PHB Ethical Beauty, and this brand indeed is one that favours people over profit.

We tried their Gentle Cleanser with Rosehip and Avocado, a cleanser designed for sensitive, overly dry and eczema prone skin. Thanks to the addition of vitamins A and E, this cleanser not only soothes and softens the skin, but equally reduces inflammation and redness. Rosehip is known for its antioxidant properties, which we gather is the critical ingredient for attaining that youthful glow. On the other hand, avocado (the nation's best-loved brunch ingredient) is particularly effective at moisturising the skin, protecting against unnecessary dryness. The real winner here though is the use of organic ingredients, and avoidance of essential oils and fragrance. For anyone with reactive skin, you'll know this is a make or break element of any product, and in fact, we would suggest, products with either are best to be avoided for any skin type. Additionally, the packaging also feels very premium, with a lovely glass bottle and eco-friendly box - not a single cheap plastic bottle in sight! To try this bottle of goodness for yourself, visit the PHB Ethical Beauty website here, where is it available for £17.00.

By Sarah London's Organic Hair Oil

We're sure we're not alone in admitting that we spend our early mornings armed with a hairdryer (and other hot hair styling tools…) Whether we're going for a straight or curly style, we're no strangers to using a little heat to tame our tresses at The Amazing Blog; and while our hair looks well groomed, we do struggle with the inevitability of dry and damaged ends. From this issue emerged a quest to bring the shine back, bringing vegan brand, By Sarah London, into the frame. They introduced their Organic Hair Oil to us, and this has been our newfound way of injecting some much need moisture, and we couldn't wait to share this with you all!

By Sarah London is a natural and organic brand, providing products that demonstrate full transparency concerning ingredient choices. From humble beginnings, this brand emerged when founders Sarah and Lauren took on the challenge of soothing Lauren's skin while recovering from leukaemia. Their plant-based goal has since developed into a full range of hair care, body care and skincare products that promote conscious living and natural wellbeing simultaneously.

We tried their Organic Hair Oil, a 98% organic and 100% natural product, without the use of artificial ingredients, essential oils or fragrance. Instead, this gem of a find contains Argan oil, sea buckthorn oil and Vitamin E, actively working to prevent thinning of your tresses, and preventing the split ends often associated with the use of heat treatment. Having used this for a few weeks, we can confirm our hair looks and feels both stronger and softer, and with a pretty and recyclable glass bottle - it looks great on any dressing table too. The oil is also unscented, and is a nice addition in the market of heavily fragrance hair oils. To use, add 1-2 drops to clean, damp hair before blow-drying - or, we were also pleased to discover, this oil can be used before air drying your hair (with no sticky residue - bonus!)

To bring the shine back to your hair, visit the By Sarah London website here, where you'll find the 20ml bottle available for £21.50, a little goes a long way!.

Christmas Gift Guide for Men

With just eight days to go until Father Christmas arrives, we can’t quite believe how quickly the season of giving has come around. We’re not yet at the stage of panic buying; however, it has to be said that most of us at The Amazing Blog, are beginning to cut it fine with our present ideas. If you too are struggling, then this week we will be providing some last minute gift guides, helping you to spend less time worrying about the tricky receivers to buy for (we all know someone), and more time enjoying the festivities. Today we start with ‘Gifts for Men’, ranging from grooming products to technology and accessories. Grab a mince pie (and a glass of something nice), and let us do the research for you.

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Firstly, we introduce The Bluebeards Revenge - a shaving and grooming company who provide products that promote a sustainable grooming routine, as opposed to the quick rush (and inevitable cuts) from using mass-market products. We previously reviewed their Ultimate Sea Salt Spray (see here), and so we were thrilled to try their Soap Stack Kit. True to their promise of creating products that are neither cheap cans of mass-produced products nor designer creams that are more akin to moisturisers, this set consists of three expertly produced soaps.

Ideal for any wash or gym bag, these soaps are unique in many ways. Primarily, the three scents are the perfect balance between providing a less feminine smell, while also promoting hydration and comfort. The first, ‘Classic Ice Soap’ is a modern twist on the British barbershop fragrance, a welcome scent that provides manliness and moisturisation simultaneously. Secondly, ‘Big Blue Bar of Soap for Blokes’ has a simple and fresh scent, and thanks to the bright blue colour, stands out amongst the sea of other generic products. Equally, ‘Cuban Gold Soap’ is ideal for days when an exotic aroma is needed (calling all Monday mornings!) With inspiration from the Caribbean, this soap packs a punch, and as a result of the unique shape, it is easy to handle, and unique to the eye. To make life even easier, these soaps come packaged in an aesthetically pleasing box, which coupled with the attractive colours, makes for a ready-made present. These soaps lather well and help to invigorate the body. To gain optimum benefits - use from head to toe, either in the bath or shower. The Bluebeards Revenge are also strictly against animal testing, and these soaps are both vegetarian and vegan-friendly - the perfect grooming gift that doesn’t involve a generic body spray or cheap aftershave. The best part? The Soap Stack Kit is affordable, at £13.99. Click here to see for yourself.

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For a man with a newfound grooming routine, a durable wash bag is undoubtedly next on the list. We turned to a brand that we know and love and discovered Morris & Co.’s ‘Refined Gentleman Washbag’, which we think fits the bill perfectly. Part of the brand Heathcote & Ivory, Morris and Co. similarly specialise in creating unique and detailed lifestyle products. We have previously featured both Heathcote and Ivory’s Inflight Essentials and Christmas Gifts Set, so were excited to try a lifestyle product aimed at the male market. Thankfully we were not disappointed!

The Refined Gentleman Wash Bag is the ideal gift for a man that is looking for some luxury. The wash bag itself is generous in size, fitting full sized products in, with ease. Thanks to the use of a zip, it also opens and closes easily, and uses vegan leather, which ensures it is wipeable, and therefore easy to keep clean. The real standout of this product is the Acanthus print, inspired by Morris & Co.’s first wallpaper design. As the primary showcase of the brand’s plan to create large-scale wallpaper designs, we like this historical link, as well as the elegant and unique finish. The inner fabric is also wipeable, made from 100% polyester, meaning any spillages can be quickly rectified. To purchase a wash bag for the gentleman in your life, then click here, where you will find The Refined Gentleman Wash Bag available for £24.

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For a gentleman that enjoys a tipple, we also came across Morris and Co.’sThe Refined Gentleman Hip Flask’. Designed with the same embossed pattern as the above wash bag, this hip flask is a classy addition to any inner pocket. Although it is slim enough to fit most pockets, it contains enough room to hold approximately 200ml of liquid. Once again, the fabric is vegan and wipeable, meaning any sticky alcohol spillages can be removed with ease. It comes packaged in a simple, and elegant box (yes - we look for presents that are easy to wrap too), and we think it would make a great present alongside the Wash Bag or would be equally welcomed with a small bottle of your receivers favourite spirit. Either way (or neither way, as it is equally lovely on its own), you will find it on the Heathcote and Ivory website for £22 - a reasonable price for a present that is durable, and sure to be well loved.

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For something a little more outlandishly festive, we came across Lime Lace. Stockists of stylish home accessories, gifts and furniture, their website offers an abundance of gifting options, from artwork to lighting and cushions. It was, however, the candles that caught our eye, in particular, The Christmas Jumper Candle the perfect balance between Christmas kitsch, and clever design.

This candle adds a little festive spirit to any room and will be sure to make your receiver smile. We must confess that we were concerned by the prospect of this candle looking too novelty, however, we were pleasantly surprised by the enormous amount of detail. The wax has been carved to look like intricate wool, and the addition of the glitter is an excellent way to jazz up any table or mantlepiece. The detail even goes as far as to emulate red stitching around the cuffs and hem, and we were pleased to discover that the glitter is non-transferable. Gone is the worry of packaging a present, only to find a product that has become distinctively less glittery in the process. Additionally, you’ll find the outer box easy to wrap, although we think it would look lovely when wrapped in cellophane, with a red ribbon bow. The size of this candle also surprised us, at 11x12cm, a decent dimension to create an optimum festive atmosphere, without being overbearing. To send a little Christmas cheer of your own, purchase a Christmas Jumper Candle here for £16.95.

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Finally, for the gadget lover in your life, we discovered Orbitkey. Founders, Rex and Charles, started the company after they decided enough was enough when it came to key organisation. Initially, it took just 30 days to gain 5,000 supporters, and with bases in Melbourne and New York, the success is now notable. Based on the concept of making key storage less bulky, we were keen to try the brand for ourselves.

Although Orbitkey have a plethora of different options, we particularly like the Orbitkey 2.0 Leather. This design comes in a vast array of colours, from simple black and stone to more eye-catching sage and tan. In a nutshell, this product provides a way to hold up to 7 keys, organising them, preventing them from scratching and providing a durable and lightweight finish. Now, of course, this product is not merely limited to men, but we particularly think the concept is perfect for men who often carry keys in their pockets. We were astounded by how convenient this product is, not just for protecting the keys, but also other ensuring other items in pockets and bags are equally protected. Orbitkey have also considered the inevitability of needing to add car keys separately, which can be done utilising the slim D-ring at the top of the leather strap. We tried the Orbitkey in Charcoal with Grey Stitching, which has proven to be popular in the office - especially among the male members of our cohort. There is also the option to monogram the genuine cowhide leather, which screams present giving to us (although you may be pushing it this week). We get the impression that design and ergonomics are paramount to this brand, which only extends further into the stylish and sleek box that the product arrived in. To encourage organisation for a man in your life, see the Orbitkey website here, where you will find this design for £35.59 or £46.23 with monogramming.

So there we go, five products that have hopefully given you a little inspiration for any gift giving nightmares. Perhaps you’ve even found a little something that you’d quite like yourself (when is it too late to add to your Christmas list exactly?) Be sure to check out the rest of our guides this week for even more inspiration, or for those of you who are indefinitely organised, perhaps these could be potential gifts for the New Year. Happy shopping!

Nakin - Lip Treatment Balm

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As the weather has turned colder, we’ve been suffering from dry and cracked skin at The Amazing Blog. Our lips have particularly taken a hit, and we’ve found ourselves continuously slathering products on, to try and rectify the situation. Having previously tried Nakin’s Natural Anti-Ageing Advanced Cleansing Milk (see here), we were excited to try their Lip Treatment Balm (with fingers and toes crossed that it would solve our dry skin woes!)

Founded by Cris Beetham, Nakin offer a varied array of natural skincare products, designed to “enhance skin and smooth away signs of ageing”. Using only plant-based ingredients, Nakin’s philosophy of natural and ethical living has propelled them to become Pure Beauty Award winners, testimony to their focus on repairing and nourishing, with skin-friendly and cruelty-free ingredients. As many of our go-to lip products contain an array of chemicals, we were more than pleased to discover Nakin’s Natural Lip Treatment Balm.

This 15ml lip balm contains an plethora of powerhouse ingredients, including shea, which works to soothe and soften the skin, and mint, which stimulates circulation. Together, these ingredients plump and smoothe the lips, without the need for lip fillers, or going under the knife. This treatment balm also contains baobab oil, which hydrates the skin, fighting against city pollution and winter sun; while argan kernel oil works alongside the shea, to soothe cracked skin. All in all, these ingredients work to provide the lips with much needed nutrients, and hydration, taking away the dry and tight sensation commonly found at this time of the year.

We apply this Lip Treatment Balm throughout the day, and slather a thicker layer on, before going to bed. Thanks to the light, yet nourishing consistency, this lip balm also works well when applied before lipstick or lip gloss. Try it for yourself for £10 here.