Marie Reynolds - MRL Restore

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Here at The Amazing Blog, we are all in agreement that a girls night in, is long overdue. We’ve got our chick flicks, chocolate (and wine) lined up, but one thing we couldn’t forget, is a good face mask. We were therefore pleased to discover MRL Restore by Marie Reynolds, part of a successful skincare range designed to balance and brighten the skin. Marie is most well known for her facial treatments, which she undertakes at Fortnum & Mason in London and her clinic in Norfolk.

This very special skin food facial mask supports imbalances within the epidermal flora, and is completely cruelty-free. It is also 100% organic and uses no artificial colours or preservatives. The product is entirely natural and, just like all Marie Reynolds products, it doesn’t only focus on visual and physical causes of skin imbalances, but also aims to combat the impacts of stress and lifestyle.

The mask adapts to every skin type and condition, balancing the skin’s natural flora and fauna. It has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, rejuvenating and brightening results thanks to the plant-produced chemicals (phytonutrients) which are used to protect the skin from environmental toxicity. Using eight strains of live bacteria during the production process, a wide range of imbalances in the skin are targeted. The MSL Restore multi-strain formula works in multiple areas, providing protection against a wide range of harmful bacteria, fungi and yeasts that may be present on the skin.

We can confirm that the cleansing effect kicks in immediately, and as one jar contains about 19 applications, you can deliver a refreshing cleanse time and time again. To use this mask, you simply mix one teaspoon of MRL Restore with a small amount of water. Blend this into a smooth paste and apply it evenly on your face and neck. After 10 to 15 minutes, loosen the mask with wet hands, massage it again for a further minute and then remove the residue with warm water. This process is best followed by moisturising your skin, preferably using the Marie Reynolds’ Epidermal Blanket, but of course, any desired moisturiser is suitable.

Ramp up your girls night, and purchase your own MRL Restore jar for £68.00 (80g) here. Pass us the popcorn!

Top Herd's Snacks

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Oh yes, groan, it’s that time of year again: ‘New Year, new you, new us’ - prepare to be flooded with gym membership teasers that promise the powers of a total detox, ond a general shedding of the skin belonging to 2018. At this time of year, we at The Amazing Blog are being bombarded with messages to look more closely at what we’re putting into our bodies - which is where the range from Top Herd comes into it’s own.

With Top Herd’s delicious Jerky selection in six flavours (four beef and two turkey) and their two salami flavours to choose from, they give the taste buds something of a workout to decide which to go for. The beauty of these tasty treats is that they are packed full of protein and are therefore brilliant at helping us to boost our energy levels, and fulfil our new year resolutions, whether they be at the gym, the office, or indeed at home. The stand out offering for us amongst the jerky offerings is their Smokey BBQ Grass Fed Beef Jerky, with only 91 calories per packet, it will certainly help to shape that waistline in the right direction. All natural ingredients, gluten-free and without a nitrate in sight. The journey that all their products undertake, is of paramount importance to the Top Herd Team - all meat is responsibly sourced to ensure the animals destined for our snack box have been grass fed, having enjoyed a carefree life, roaming at their leisure and taking good exercise out in the open air. No nasty chemicals are allowed to enter this chain, keeping each ingredient as unadulterated as possible.

The lean salami comes in two flavours - ‘Tomato’ and ‘Mild Chilli’ with 5.7% and 6.1% fat respectively. In our tastings, the ingredients each came through, without being overpowering - especially the chilli options which can sometimes be hit or miss in some snacks. Of course the really interesting test came in whether these yummy morsels actually staved off the hunger pangs - we can report that they did, adding an extra boost of gusto to our step which wasn’t entirely down to the feeling of self-righteousness!

In a world where we are increasingly being lectured on the rights and wrongs of what we keep in our larders, it makes a refreshing change to come across a brand who are fearlessly pushing their products forward, and encouraging us to eat well, and play well. The message from Top Herd is to lay a foundation of good nutrition and well being, and then get out into the fresh air and explore all manner of adventures. It’s the perfect premise for the beginning of a new year, and possibly a new and fulfilling direction for those of us willing to taste something new. Individual pouches of jerky will set you back between £1.59 and £2, but you will also find the Adventure box of Jerky’ bundle priced at £12, and the ‘Go Wild Snack Box’ at £14. These are all available from the Top Herd website here. Happy snacking!

Rawbiotics

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Day-to-day life can be stressful, besides managing core tasks and balancing a social life, we have to make a conscious effort to boost our nutrition. This is something that we’re not always brilliant at here at The Amazing Blog, so to help along, we were recommended to try Rawbiotics’ Liquid Probiotics.

Daily shots of these friendly bacteria-based probiotics work for your health, providing you with a balanced start in the day, and delivering you your daily dose of life in the easiest way possible. This 100% vegan, raw, all natural and gluten free liquid is contained in entirely recyclable PET plastic bottles. This proves the company doesn’t only care about your body being in balance, but also about sustainability and their impact on the environment. We like that they are 100% raw and natural, dairy, lactose, gluten, GMO, egg, milk and soya free. Rawbiotics also have 14 live cultures – more than any other brand!

The bacteria used are in a live liquid form, meaning they do not need to be freeze-dried in order to survive. This makes them a natural, raw and effective form of probiotic. With 14 strains contained in each bottle, Rawbiotics’ Live Prebiotics are one of the most effective liquid probiotics on the market today. Using the modern method of non-freeze drying has the benefit of ensuring that the products can be kept for up to two years, and can be stored at room temperature, as opposed to in a fridge. Additionally, once opened, they can last for up to 60 days. Delivered in two separate bottles, Rawbiotics Gut and Rawbiotics Daily both contain the same 14 strains of bacteria. What makes them different? The herbs are mixed with these bacteria strains. Both defeat the symptoms of numerous illnesses, such as diarrhoea, hay fever and bloating, as well as supporting your immune system and general wellbeing.

The main function of Rawbiotics Gut is to balance the function of your gastro-intestinal tract. It addresses diverse causes of digestive issues and restores a long-term healthy balance. Each herbal extract has its own effects on your body. Using lemon balm, peppermint, rose hip and slippery elm, this particular probiotic doesn’t only improve your digestive health, but also has positive effects on anxiety and insomnia, as it increases the levels of GABA in your brain (which controls the fear or anxiety experienced when neurons are overexcited). In addition to that, it tempers symptoms of cold and flu and supports healthy weight loss. We also tried Rawbiotics Daily Balance which aims to create, as it says, an improved balance within your whole body. Simply said, it restores natural beneficial bacteria that are needed for an optimal digestive and immune function. Herbs such as astragalus, olive leaf and rose improve your general energy and overall health, while boosting your immune system and strengthening your bones and heart. This probiotic also helps to kill infections, and can relieve both anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

With numerous excited and thrilled customers reporting their own positive experiences, we found that we had more energy, were able to maintain a healthy weight more easily and had an improved mental state. This is a revolution that we are glad we haven’t missed out on! To join yourself, then you can purchase Rawbiotic’s Probiotics here for £29.95 (per 1 litre).

Ao Skincare's Reverse Longitude PM Serum Shot

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Keeping our skin looking healthy and feeling hydrated is often a struggle. Here at The Amazing Blog, we know that environmental influences and a busy lifestyle quickly leave their marks. So naturally, the greatest thing that could be invented, is a reset button for our skin. Can you imagine that? Something to bring back your natural balance. Luckily for us, this is what Ao Skincare aims to create. For Dr Mark Gray (a Harvard trained pathologist and dermatologist), skincare is evolutionary, and should work to find a balance between health and efficiency. We first discovered this brand via 2018 The Beauty Shortlist Awards where they won 3 awards for Editors Choice and we just couldn’t wait to try it!

With expertise that questions standard skincare practices, Ao Skincare’s fresh scientific methods filter nature’s potent energy into products designed to overcome uncertain elements, while defending your skin’s dynamic boundary. The adaptive ingredients protect your skin from the harshest conditions, while the cold processed formulas retain the raw power of every active. Hoping for that “reset-button”, we tried Ao Skincare’s Reverse Longitude PM Serum-Shot. This is an antioxidant-infused retinal, with the use of powerful vitamin-A, a gentle (and more effective) alternative to pure retinol. The ingredient are plant-based like Bakuchio which has the benefits of vitamin A without the typical associated sensitivities. Also containing New Zealand Red Algae one the most powerful natural antioxidant known and 6000x stronger than vitamin C. these all help to protect cells from oxidation and reduces sun damage, wrinkles, age spots and freckles - what more could one ask for?! Our skin was left feeling hydrated, boosted and calm, with noticeable results after just four weeks. The formulation is blended raw, in order not to deactivate any ingredients (a common problem as a result of excessive heating in the production process of skincare). Delivered in a metallic blue bottle, the burnt orange lettering matches the slightly transparent orange of this creamy and hydrating lotion - this is not just a product that does good, but it looks pretty good displayed on our dressing table too. It is also free from all parabens, sulphates, mineral oils, petrochemicals and fragrance.

No need to just take our word for it, in a Dermatest GbmH clinical trial it showed remarkable results as 92% of users reported that their skin felt softer and more supple, with 77% experiencing an improved appearance. Suitable for any skin type and any ageAo skincare’s products include 95 to 98% natural ingredients and are completely cruelty-free. We really rate this serum with it’s potent cold pressed botanical based ingredients. It is a great investment for anyone looking to improve the texture their complexion, as well as plumping up and hydrating their skin. You can purchase a 30ml bottle for $129.95 here, or check out more of Ao skincare’s evolutionary products here.

Emma Gunn's Never Mind The Burdocks

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Do you have a passion for flowers or plants? Or perhaps you dream of having a lovely garden one day? While most people aren’t born with a green thumb, there is an increasing interest in nature, especially amongst us at The Amazing Blog. We love having flowers and plants in every room, but jazzing up a space shouldn’t be limited to putting flowers in a vase. This is something we discovered from the wisdom of Emma Gunn’s Never Mind the Burdocks: A Year Of Foraging in the British Isles’ - three books with the aim to encourage a better understanding of nature and survival, offering advice to protect our everyday spaces. After all, the more we understand, the better equipped we are.

The trio compromises of three books for three seasons: Spring (March-May), Autumn (September-November) and Winter (December-February). Each book is split into the number of days relating to the time frame, providing a different edible item each day. These range from mushrooms, to plants and fish. What we particularly like about the books, is the layout, providing a wide range of information, from scientific names, to origins and common uses. By focussing on a different foraging item each day, you quickly gain a vast amount of knowledge, including where to find the item, the edibility (rated from 1-5) and common lookalikes.

The Spring edition focuses on the common young tender leaves and spring flowers. As with the other books, common anecdotes and recipes are provided, with a vast amount of educational photographs. The Autumn edition includes commonly found funghi, fruits and nut, whereas you’ll find the Winter edition includes many root items. All three books contain a glossary of common (and uncommon) terms, and the Autumn guide has a handy tips and tricks section with visual funghi guides. Emma Gunn has thought of it all!

We have certainly enjoyed learning more about foraging! If this is something of interest to you too, then Emma Gunn’s Never Mind the Burdocks trio is available to purchase via Amazon. You’ll find the Spring and Winter editions available for £12.99, and the slightly thicker Autumn edition for £13.99. You’ll be foraging experts in no time!