Beauty

Friday Favourites - Manicure and Pedicure Products

While Film and TV shows often depict women having a standing nail appointment at a downtown salon, we are sad to say that is not the reality at The Amazing Blog. While we love pampering ourselves at the spa every once and a while, we often don’t have the time or money to spend on full manicures and pedicures each week. Thankfully for us, there is a vast market for at-home nail treatments, and you can enjoy some of the luxuries from your flat. We have four #amazingfinds for you this week that will leave your hands and nails looking gorgeous while still feeling like you’ve had a day at the salon.

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The first product we have will leave your hands looking brighter and more youthful before you put on your nail polish. We had the chance to try another product from one of our tried-and-trusted brands, Beauty Kitchen. Since we tested their Seahorse Plankton 5 Minute Miracle Mask and The Beauty Boosting BB Cream, the company revamped the collection into Seahorse Plankton+, which includes the 60 Second Manicure.

The 60 Second Manicure is a quick and easy scrub that uses Himalayan sea salt to exfoliate dead skin cells from your hands and nail beds. The fine texture of the sea salt works quickly and effectively, revealing smoother and healthier-looking skin, and is especially useful for dry patches of skin. What makes this scrub standout from others is that all of the products in the Seahorse Plankton+ collection contain microalgae and blue chamomile. Microalgae is a unique skin care ingredient that can survive in the cold and harsh environment of the North Sea and increases collagen production, which brightens skin. It also contains proteins and antioxidants that nourish skin and reduce redness as well as fine lines. Blue chamomile gives the scrub the relaxing aroma of a spa and renews skin.

Sustainability is a crucial pillar of the brand, so Seahorse Plankton+ products are made with recyclable materials (glass and aluminium) and sustainably grown microalgae. Despite the name, seahorses are not used to make the scrub, and it is vegan certified. You can purchase the scrub (80g) here for £19.50.



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This next product from BalbCare -  Luxury Waterless Manicure/Pedicure Starter Kit provides the perfect layer of moisture once you’ve smoothed your hands with the 60 Second Manicure. BalBCare is a Brazilian-based company that wanted to create a ‘manicure and pedicure service that doesn’t require water: saving both time and resources’. By using their Manicure / Pedicure Starter Kit containing a pack of 20 together with free plier toe nail cutters. Did you know that you can save two to four litres of water with each use and have beautiful-looking hands and feet this summer.

The Manicure and Pedicure Kits come with gloves and socks, plus emollient cream, a nail file and a wooden cuticle pusher. The packets are for single-use only, making them very sanitary – something that is vital when removing your cuticles. They are also flat and portable. The emollient cream in each kit moisturises hands and feet using natural ingredients like witch-hazel extract and allantoin (reduces skin inflammation), tea tree oil (sanitises hands naturally), and calcium pantothenate (nourishes nails). After putting the gloves or socks on, you must break the ends of the glove or sock to push back and remove your cuticles. Like a sheet mask, remember to rub in the excess emollient cream once you’ve removed the gloves and socks. To purchase this Starter kit it will be approximate £40 from here.

For extra soft feet, because we usually don’t put cream on our feet every day like our hands, we suggest using Foot File. We recommend finding a file that is made with 100 per cent surgical quality stainless steel, making it longer-lasting and more effective than a typical sandpaper file that runs down after a few uses. The material also makes the foot file extremely lightweight and has a coarse side and fine side. You can use it with or without water and creams, but we prefer to remain water-less and use the emollient cream

We must quickly add that this is in fact a popular salon-based ‘express service’ treatment that is offered in select nail bars and beauty salons UK wide. To have the full experience of mani pedi performed by trained individuals, this treatment will be around £20 (depending on each salons menus).

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The next product we have is another alternative to going to the nail salon or even having to use nail polish, and it will have even your closest friends fooled. Bows & Toes offers a unique solution for people who struggle at painting their nails – especially their non-dominant hands, makeup artists who quickly need to paint nails left and right backstage, or someone who doesn’t want to leave home. It also offers a luxurious twist to stick-on nails, which many people still believe are only age-appropriate for children to use.  

The UK-based online boutique was founded by two sisters who have backgrounds in the nail business, art, and design. They combined their experiences to create high-quality and detailed designs for the hand-painted nails. Bows & Toes allows you to express yourself and style through your nails whichever way you like with a wide variety of styles. The nails come in classic round and square shapes, but also trendy stiletto shapes that are difficult to create without going to the nail salon. Patterns vary from glitter and jewels to marble and solid colours, which come in both shiny and matte finishes. The 20-piece nail sets are not all uniform and have different hues as well as patterns that coordinate with another.

Each nail set includes the stick-on nails, gel tabs to keep the nails on, alcohol wipes, and a cuticle stick. All nails can be removed with just warm water and are reusable if taken care of properly. You can purchase the Bow Ladies nail sets here for prices of £14.99-£18.99, depending on the design.

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Finally, we have two products for you from HandMade Beauty to complete your nails. The Moisturising Base Coat with Aloe Vera and Top Coat Sun Dry both got a lot of love at this year’s Beauty Shortlist Awards, and we can see why. Diana Burillo’s brand provides organic, handmade, and cruelty-free alternatives to traditional nail polishes that often have harsh chemicals and damage nails. The products are also fair trade and produced with as few ingredients as possible to uphold the company’s mission of ‘creating 100% organic spaces for body and mind care’.

The first item we tried was the Moisturising Base Coat. Our nails truly felt the difference with this base coat due to the formula’s mixture of aloe vera, bamboo extract, and vitamin E. These ingredients add moisture, but also repair existing nail damage and prevent future damage. It’s perfect if your nails are feeling drier with the rising temperatures. On top of feeling more moisturised nails, the base coat left a nice natural shine that could be worn on its own. After the base coat and nail polish of your choice, HandMade Beauty’s Top Coat Sun Dry will give you shiny and glossy nails that look like you got a gel manicure. The catch is that you don’t have to put your hands under a UV lamp or UV light. The top coat creates a hard shell in just three minutes under natural sunlight and protects your nails from getting chipped, resulting in a longer-lasting manicure. The product additionally has a rounded application brush that makes it easier to distribute the top coat onto your nails.

Both products come in simple glass bottles (a clear one for the base coat and a matte black one for the top coat) with wooden caps that would look nice on any counter. You can purchase the Top Coat Sun Dry (11ml) here for €18 and the Moisturising Base Coat (10ml) here for €14. If you buy both together, online orders over €30 qualify for free shipping.

With these four unique at-home nail treatments in mind, we hope you find some time to treat yourself during the weekend. Put on a soft robe, rest your feet, and relax in front of the telly while doing one or all of these treatments because you and your nails deserve to feel like you’ve had a weekend spa holiday.

Procoal - Activated Charcoal Purifying Detox Mask

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At The Amazing Blog we’re fully aware of the current charcoal trend  in many beauty and wellness products, which is where we have covered it here from Restoria’s Charcoal Exfoliating Wash to White Glo’s Charcoal Deep Stain Remover Toothpaste and Just For Tummies Food Supplements. What we like about activated charcoal it removes excess oil, dirt, environmental pollutants, and dead skin cells from pores, leaving us feeling detoxed, helping us to achieve a more radiant complexion. With this in mind, we were keen to try the new Procoal Activated Charcoal Purifying Detox Face Mask.

Procoal is a UK-based company and was started in 2016 after its founders set out to create high-quality products without lower-cost filler ingredients, like a few charcoal brands that can be found in this sector. The company prides itself on ‘prioritising quality over profit’ and uses natural ingredients that are traceable, ethically sourced, free of parabens, and cruelty-free.

The Purifying Detox Mask uses one of its four key ingredients, charcoal, to deep clean pores and remove pollutants. We can see why Egyptians have used activated charcoal for centuries for its many different uses-including drawing poison from wounds-because you can feel clearer pores after just one use of this mask. Natural clays kaolin, montmorillonite, and ghassoul work to absorb and eliminate impurities and sebum as well as even out your complexion. Besides making your skin feel fresh, this product is effective on all skin types (charcoal is very gentle and won’t irritate sensitive skin) and helps fight acne. So, take 5-10 minutes out of your day to relax and treat your skin with this face mask while knowing that what is in it is all-natural. You can buy the mask for yourself here for £8.99 .

Spoolies – Hair Curlers and Beach Waves & Curls Leave-In Curl Enhancer

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When you think of hair curling, three options usually come to mind: an expensive appointment at the hair salon, a hot and hard-to-use curling iron, or ugly round hair rollers our grandmothers once used. These options have many disadvantages, but most of us settled for at least one! Many of us at The Amazing Blog use a curling iron and usually need a friend’s help to curl the back of our hair. We’re happy to say that these problems are long in the past with Spoolies, which offers a fun, no heat, and inexpensive solution.

Most of us have seen hair rollers before, whether in real life or in movies from the 50s and 60s, where women wearing nightgowns spend hours carefully putting up their hair before bed. Spoolies founder Jeanne C. James decided to ‘create classic curls with a modern twist’ for women of today with Spoolies Hair Curlers. The curlers are easy to use and effective for even the finest or straightest hair. Instead of plastic, they’re made with durable and high-quality hypoallergenic silicon, but still light and portable for easy travelling. They are also heat proof to hair dryers if you want to speed up the curling process.

For enhanced waves, Spoolies offers the Beach Waves & Curls Leave-In Curl Enhancer, which you should spray into hair before using the curlers. It is infused with Crambe abyssinica seed oil to nourish, hydrate, and volumise hair while improving the look of curls and not weighing your hair down. It can be used on wet or dry hair and is sulfate, paraben, and phthalate free. The hair curlers work very well with the spray for tighter curls, but we found we got more natural-looking waves without water.

The hair curlers come in two sizes (medium and jumbo) to create a variety of hairstyles from loose waves to ringlets. Spoolies also has a variety of colours including blue, pink, black, and silver. The price of the hair curlers varies depending on how many you want, but we found the best deal was the ‘15 pc – Jumbo Spoolies in Mesh Bag, Beachy Blue’ kit. The kit gives you more than enough hair curlers to share with friends and a quality bag to store them in. You can purchase the kit here on Amazon for £35.95 and the Leave-In Curl Enhancer on the Spoolies US website here for $17.99.

Disco Dust – Biodegradable Extra Chunky Glitter and Natural Glue

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What better way is there to make yourself stand out at the festivals this summer, than with a little splash of glitter on your eyes or face? Although, most commercial cosmetic glitters have a microplastic film that pollutes the environment and takes almost 1000 years to decompose. Yes, 1000 years. We’re happy to say that The Amazing Blog has found a biodegradable and sustainable fix to these woes: Disco Dust.

The London-based company was launched in November 2016 to ‘break stigmas and push boundaries in the beauty industry’, similar to the way disco broke social and racial barriers in the 70s. Disco Dust advocates for having fun and expressing yourself while also taking care of the environment. Their glitter is made of a biodegradable film, which is even compostable in your own home, and renewably sourced raw materials.

We tried two shades from Disco Dust’s Biodegradable Range of extra chunky glitter in Gold and Silver. The individual pieces of glitter are quite large and rich in colour for a bold look. You can layer the extra chunky glitter with other colours as well as sizes in your hair and face for a unique look or use them alone to match your jewellery. Our favourite method was layering the glitter on top of liquid eyeliner for extra sparkle to an ordinary eye look. The product can be applied with a makeup brush or your fingers. Lastly, the glitter is easy to remove with a makeup wipe or soapy water, so you’re not harshly scrubbing your face before bed or finding remnants of glitter the next day. Of course, to keep the glitter on your face, you need glue. To complement the biodegradable glitters, Disco Dust created 100% Natural Disco Glue (an aloe-based and vegan glitter adhesive) as an alternative to slippery Vaseline and harsh chemical glues. The formula lasts all day and is hand poured into recyclable containers in Bristol.

Add more shine to your makeup look and your life this summer with these extra chunky glitters. You can purchase the Gold Extra Chunky Mix glitter (3g) here for £6, Silver Extra Chunky Mix glitter (3g) here for £6, and Glitter Glue (5ml) here for £5. Each product is available in a larger size and glass container, with the glue £10 for 45ml and the glitters £15 for 20g. Why not have some fun and let yourself sparkle this summer.

Les Parfums de Rosine - Bois Fuchsia

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We have to admit that at The Amazing Blog, due to the inclement weather, we’ve not been tending to our gardens as regularly as we’d like. We love the fragrance that an English summer garden gives, with the freshness from budding flowers and fruits. So when we received Les Parfums de Rosine with their latest floral and fruit creation, we couldn’t wait to spritz and try.

This French perfume brand was founded by Marie-Hélène Rogeon, whose heritage comes from a long line of perfumers in the family. She is also truly passionate about growing and nurturing special breeds of roses. She has merged these two passions by creating her own brand Les Parfums de Rosine, which specialises in making and designing luxurious and beautiful perfumes all with natural essences. Mme Rogeon wanted her fragrances to be ‘immediately understandable and readable’, something unmistakable in the perfume we tried, Bois Fuchsia.

Created in 2019 by iconic French perfumer Michel Almairac, Bois Fuchsia (translated to ‘fuchsia wood’) immediately gives an uplifting fragrance with top notes of black currant and iris. Heart notes of rose, raspberry, and lychee pack a sweet smell that immediately follows. The colourful fruity scent takes inspiration from Rosa gallica (one of Mme Rogeon’s favourite roses), which is famous for its use in French preserves and jams. Although it is the patchouli, musk, and sandalwood base notes that add a classic and timeless feeling to this perfume. The woody masculine base notes add depth and complement the fruity and feminine notes to make you feel as sophisticated and fashionable.

The special Rosa gallica also inspired the packaging of Bois Fuchsia, which is in an elegant fuschia pink bottle. It is simple with no extraneous writing except a cursive ‘R’ and fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. This scent is truly evocative of a summer garden and allows you to close your eyes and reminisce, bring a ray of sunshine even on a damp and grey English day! You can purchase Bois Fuchsia (100ml) here for £142.