Fashion

Flux ‘n’ Flame Jewellery Course

With summer in full force now, we’ve been looking for new ways to relax and rewind for our weekends at The Amazing Blog, which had us stumbling upon the Flux ‘n’ Flame Jewellery School. While we love our makeup, skincare, and wellness products; but we also like sourcing and designing gorgeous jewellery. So, we were excited to learn about the many jewellery-making classes that this school offers. Located in Dorset, just 20 miles off the coast, Flux ‘n’ Flame provides the ideal countryside escape for the weekend or a day to relax, put aside your phone, and bring home a piece of one-of-a-kind jewellery at the end.

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Since its founding in 2003, Flux ‘n’ Flame has grown to become one of the top independent jewellery schools in the UK. Jesa and Al Dickson joined their combined 45 years of experience as professional jewellery designers and makers to create an experience like no other. Classes are kept at a maximum of eight people to ensure an intimate, friendly, and comfortable atmosphere in Flux ‘n’ Flame’s professional and fully equipped workshop.

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In the class, you learn the many practical skills of jewellery making such as soldering, sawing, and filing. You also learn different techniques from the best while being given the freedom to work on your own project at your own pace. No matter your skill level, a complete beginner like us or an expert, the teacher provides support and guidance during throughout the process. For more advanced jewellery makers, you can perfect your existing skills and learn new ones. Endless tea, coffee, and biscuits are also provided to stimulate the creative process. Let’s not forget at the end of the course you get to take home a piece of jewellery (necklace, rings, bracelets, and more) that you’ve worked hard to make and will have your friends asking where you bought it.

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Whether you want to do anything to escape our bustling city, learn a new skill, or build up an existing talent, Flux ‘n’ Flame offers the perfect class for you. Each class is seven hours long and prices vary depending on how many days of classes you would like. A one-day course is £115 per person, a two-day course is £225 per person, and a three-day course is £315 per person. You can find the class calendar here and book a class hereWe can’t wait to book in and show off our new designs!

KIERIN NYC – Santal Sky

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Although The Amazing Blog loves London and we will likely never leave, New York City is one of our favourite cities in the world. Walking through the streets of Manhattan amidst the American hustle and bustle make you feel alive and young. Yet within the city that never sleeps, there are moments of ultimate peace and serenity. Flights to New York are expensive, but the next best option is to bring the atmosphere of the city to you with KIERIN NYC’s Santal Sky fragrance.

Inspired by the vibrant and metropolitan lifestyle of New Yorkers, KIERIN NYC has also embodied New York’s inclusive nature by creating perfumes that can appeal to all ages, genders, ethnicities, and nationalities. The company invites people ‘to be inspired, not defined or confined, by fragrance’. This ethos produced Santal Sky’s clean and unique scent designed for the modern urban individual. For this perfume, French perfumer Mathieu Nardin combined sandalwood, vetiver plant, and cardamom and saffron spices. The scent has a very strong earth and woodsy aroma from the sandalwood. However, what makes you think twice about Santal Sky are its spicy after notes. This fragrance is completely its own in this regard, and the spiciness leaves you mesmerised by the smell long after you’ve sprayed it. The overall ambience of Santal Sky is a sexy and mature scent that lasts all night while you’re getting fancy cocktails at a bar with the city lights behind you.

Despite this, it doesn’t smell too old to use in your 20’s and comes in a sturdy, stylish matte white bottle that is recyclable. KIERIN NYC has a ‘clean & conscious’ model for its brand, so all of its products are made with sustainable packaging and ethically sourced ingredients to help other communities as well as our own. Santal Sky is also cruelty-free, vegan, paraben and phthalate free, and hypoallergenic. This perfume not only has an eco-friendly mindset but smells exceptional and will bring some of the ‘New York State of Mind’ to London.

You can purchase Santal Sky (50ml) here for £65

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.

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.

The Victoria and Albert Museum- Mary Quant Exhibit

Mary Quant selecting fabric, 1967 © Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Images

Mary Quant selecting fabric, 1967 © Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Images

Being based off the Kings Road, we at The Amazing Blog can still see today the influence the British iconic designer Mary Quant has in not only high street fashion, but also in the lifestyle and her rebellion against conformity as part of the Chelsea Set. Mary Quant was the one who really made London swing in the early 1960s. Quant’s tiny boutique Bazaar on the King’s Road grew into a wholesale brand available in department stores across the UK. Quant’s success soon hit America, where her designs were made for chain stores and mail order companies. So, when we heard that The Victoria and Albert Museum was holding an exhibition in honor of Dame Mary Quant, we knew that it was a date for the diary. We just have to see her original mini skirts and hot pants in real life all of which were made famous by the model Twiggy.

Mary Quant and models at the Quant Afoot footwear collection launch, 1967 © PA Prints 2008

Mary Quant and models at the Quant Afoot footwear collection launch, 1967 © PA Prints 2008

The exhibition will showcase a range of Quant’s 200 garments and accessories, including some personal, unseen pieces, spanning from the years 1955 through to 1975. A range of vibrant tights, hot pants, theatrical makeup and her renowned miniskirts will be available for display to the public for the first time in almost 50 years. It will also seek to delve into how Quant’s contributions of garments, accessories and even her retail practices completely “revolutionised the high street” yes, fashion as we know it today.

Satin mini-dress and shorts by Mary Quant, photograph by Duffy, 1966 © Duffy Archive

Satin mini-dress and shorts by Mary Quant, photograph by Duffy, 1966 © Duffy Archive

Since her opening of her shop Bazaar on King’s Road in 1955, Quant aimed to liberate women from constraining clothes to include more youthful and eccentric pieces especially during the ‘Swinging Sixties.’ Her mock turtlenecks, A-line shift dresses, pant suits and use of PVC shifted the way women thought about fashion. Her look was completed by a liberating short geometric haircut by Vidal Sassoon, who freed women from the punishment of spending hours with curlers and under a hair-drying bonnet. Dame Mary Quant observed: “Vidal Sassoon, the pill and the miniskirt changed everything for the better in the 1960’s”.

Mary Quant, photograph by Ronald Dumont, c.1967. © Ronald Dumont/Stringer/Getty Images

Mary Quant, photograph by Ronald Dumont, c.1967. © Ronald Dumont/Stringer/Getty Images

Tickets for Mary Quant’s exhibit are now available for purchase, which runs from 6 April 2019 – 8 March 2020, on the V&A website here.