Vegan

Oumph!

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With the average global temperature at an all-time high, at The Amazing Blog we’ve made it our goal to be more conscientious in the products we use and consume. We’ve already begun the shift towards using paper straws, reusable shopping bags and even reef-safe SPF but now we’ve taken on the challenge to switch to a more earth-friendly, plant-based diet that’s tasty yet easy to cook. That’s where the vegan company Oumph! comes along.

Based in Sweden, Oumph! has aimed to make meat substitutes and other vegan frozen foods that are low-impact to the environment. All of Oumph’s six plant-based frozen foods are made with a mixture of soya beans and organic herbs and spices combined into a flavourful vegan substitute. In addition to being gluten and dairy free, Oumph!’s high protein and fibre levels along with its sources of iron and folic acid make sure you’re getting your daily nutrients without having to eat animal by-products. We got to try all six of Oumph!‘s food varieties which we can say made our goal towards plant-based eating much easier (and tastier).

The first product we tried was the award-winning Oumph! Kebab Spiced. Seasoned with spices classically found in kebab, the plant-based strips are a great alternative to the English favourite. Next, we tried the Pulled Oumph! to spice up our weekly Taco Tuesday. Marinated in a vegan BBQ sauce, these Oumph! chunks placed in a taco shell with veggies and some salsa had us feeling moreish. Want a basic Oumph! to add your own seasoning? The Chunk only contains soya beans, water and salt for a perfect base to any dish you want. We tried The Chunk by using one of their recipes for a Tikka Masala on their website, and all we can say is yum! Oumph’s other two plant-based meats Thyme & Garlic and Salty & Smoky were an excellent substitute for a just ass hearty breakfast. If you’re craving a more cheesy alternative, Oumph!’s brick-oven Pizza topped with veggies, vegan cheese, herbs and pieces of Oumph! is a easy and tasty Friday dinner. To join the #greenproteinshift, see Oumph! for stockists, it can be found in the frozen food section at your nearest Whole Foods Market or Tesco.

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.

SARYA Couture Makeup - Eye Shadow

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With the April showers finally in the past, flowers are beginning to bloom everywhere in London. While there are so many different colours around us, The Amazing Blog has been inspired by the colour pink. It is in the flowers and sunsets, clothes in shops, even cocktails at bars. There's a reason why millennials adore this colour and it's because it is no longer reserved for super 'girly' women, but can be embraced by everyone. This is where SARYA Couture Makeup comes in with its beautifully pigmented Italian-made vegan eye shadows.

The brand offers four different shades of eye shadow, but Pastel Me (a light rose colour) is what got us into the whole 'pink craze.' It is a nice rosy shade that has a smooth texture and diffuses easily into skin using fingers. The product creates a perfect base for other colours in an eye shadow look but leaves a subtle and pearlescent finish by itself. While it is sold as an eye shadow, we found that this colour looks particularly nice on the apples of your cheeks – as if you’ve just returned from a beach holiday. This versatile and pretty shade has all of the necessary components a quality eye shadow must have, but what makes SARYA Makeup’s product stand out are its slightly more unusual ingredients which include the likes of: Fossil flour, extracted from fossilized fragments of aquatic algae, Organic Shea Butter, rich in Vitamin A, E , F and  Karanja oil for its antibacterial properties.
 

Sarya launched in the summer of 2018 by Claudia and Teodora, who share the same passion for beauty and bio and do not consider it only a passing trend, but they see it as the future of the production for the entire industry. The pair has an ideology of ‘purity and transparency’. ‘Purity’ begins with products that have no added mineral oils, perfumes, or phthalates while ‘transparency’ is seen in all of the products being certified organic, vegan, cruelty-free, gluten free, and paraben free. On top of all this, the eye shadow has an organic formula of bio apricot oil for moisture and bio shea oil for essential vitamins A, E, and F. This eye shadow will not only provide maximum health benefits to your skin with its antioxidant-rich formula, but it also won’t make your spring allergies act up. Join the pink craze this spring and purchase the eye shadow here for €20. Or here Amazon UK . We just can’t wait to try more from this brand!

Mindful Bites - Nut Butter

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Who doesn’t love a good snack? Yup and it’s generally naughty little things like crisps that are our bad habit at The Amazing Blog We have been looking to substitute this potato addiction with ‘good snacks’, which is where Mindful Bites comes in. Founded in 2014 by Stephanie Peritore, Mindful Bites aims to change the way people snack, not on empty calories but on protein rich butters ‘one bite at a time’ they want to promote intentional eating.  We are finding that Mindful Bites' Nut Butters are the perfect vegan and gluten-free solution to our snack cravings.

Mindful Bites is built on the company’s four pillars of mindful eating (Intention, Attention, Gratitude, and Pleasure) and these pillars are reflected in the Nut Butter. The thick and creamy texture of the product slowly releases delicious flavours, which allow you to savour what you're eating. The carefully selected ingredients, including a blend of superfoods and high-quality nuts, also have you actively thinking about what you put into your body. However, it's not just the tasty and nutritious flavours that have us drawn to the Nut Butter; it is the way it makes us feel after eating it. The plant-based protein, made with no added sugar or sweeteners and palm oil, is a game changer for reinvigorating yourself during a mid-afternoon slump. Spread sparingly on some oatcakes  (in our case) it is filling and delicious and has made our cravings disappear resulting in a better, more energetic mood here in the office.

We had the chance to try all four of their  Nut Butter flavours (Hazelnut & Berries, Brazil Nuts & Cacao Nibs, Almond & Maca, Cashew Nuts & Baobab). Our personal favourite was Hazelnut & Berries. It has a rich taste of hazelnut, not dissimilar to Nutella, but with a yummy hint of a berry flavour which stays gently with you. However, if you want a more intense chocolate flavour, we suggest trying Brazil Nuts & Cacao Nibs. While nut butter is traditionally eaten on toast or straight from the jar with a spoon (not so good for an office share!) Mindful Bites suggests adding it to a smoothie, porridge, or yogurt for a protein boost.

You can purchase a single jar (185g) of their Nut Butters here for £6.99 or a box of all four for £25 here.

By Sarah London- Bath Salts

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With the weather getting warmer, taking baths shouldn’t just be reserved for the colder months. Certainly a more cooling soak in the summer months never hurt. There is nothing more we like at The Amazing Blog than to have a relaxing soak after a session in the gym or an evening run. While we all love a good bath bomb or a therapeutic essential oil, some of us with more sensitive skin prefer something a little less harsh for our skin to completely relax. UK based skincare brand BY SARAH LONDON has developed their Bath Salts with completely natural and hypoallergenic ingredients, which is a winner for us! We recently reviewed their Organic Hair Oil here which we loved.

The multi-award winning BY SARAH LONDON was launched in 2017 by two sisters Sarah and Lauren after the latter was suffering from dry, sensitive skin during her recovery from leukaemia. After searching for skincare that was both effective yet non-irritating, Sarah then sought out to start her brand that was transparent, authentic and empowering. The sisters wanted to push this transparency and authenticity by pushing for the use of ethically-sourced, plant-based ingredients  in their products.  To take this one step beyond, BY SARAH LONDON is the only UK skincare brand that lists all ingredients on the front label of all their products including their Bath Salts. While BY SARAH London products are great for people with sensitive skin and eczema, they also recommend their products to people with all skin types especially those who are conscious about what they put on their skin.

Besides having no essential oils or fragrances, BY SARAH LONDON’s Bath Salts contains only three ingredients, making sure that sensitive skin is not irritated.  The hand-blended Himalayan Pink Salts, Dead Sea Salts and French Pink Clay all combine in an eco-friendly glass jar to calm and cleanse the body. To start soaking in the minerals, add a handful of the bath salt to your warm bath and enjoy for a minimum of 15 minutes. A 280-gram jar (£20) of the Bath Salts or a 50-gram pouch (£5) of the Bath Salts are currently available to purchase on the BY SARAH LONDON website here.