Amazing Finds

Love Sun Body - SPF 50 Fragrance Free

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With the UK experiencing its hotter and hotter summers apply a high SPF is an essential part our daily routine, not only our faces but also our bodies. From recycling to using reusable straws, we can change little things in our day-to-day lives for the better, including changing what sunscreen we use. According to the Environmental Working Group,  the chemical-filler oxybenzone which is widely found in non-mineral sunscreens can cause bleaching and deformation to the ocean’s reefs. With that in mind, many began talking about the need for reef-safe SPF, including the state of Hawaii who recently banned any sunscreen that is not deemed safe for the ocean. Once we heard this, at The Amazing Blog we started the hunt for a summer sunscreen that is free from these harmful chemicals. When we read all the rave reviews about Love Sun Body’s range of natural mineral sunscreens, we knew that we had to try.

The founder is Dr. Terry Zickerman is a former banker who returned to his passion for science, biology and healthy living. Love Sun Body was born out of a conversation at the beach in Point Pleasant in New Jersey. After six years dedicated to research and formulation, this US skincare brand Love Sun Body made its debut last summer. Instead of the chemical UVA and UVB filters found in most sunscreens, Love Sun Body’s sun protectants contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to physically block out the rays instead of turning the UV into heat as chemical filters usually do. The ingredients found in their sunscreens are water-resistant and safely yet effectively protect you from the sun. Love Sun Body are also the first U.S. sunscreen brand that is internationally certified by Ecocert Cosmos Natural. While we wished we could try all of Love Sun Body’s products, they kindly sent us their SPF 50 Fragrance Free sunscreen to try. Known fact: Mineral sunscreens do not penetrate the skin – they sit on top and act as a barrier – whereas chemical sunscreens absorb into the skin. Oxybenzone, one of these chemical sunscreen ingredients, is added to 70% of non-mineral sunscreens and, in a study of 2500 Americans, the CDC found Oxybenzone in 96% of the participants bodies.

In addition to being fragrance-free, Love Sun Body’s SPF 50 sunscreen contains 100% natural ingredients that won’t irritate eyes or break out your skin. Unlike other mineral sunscreens, the SPF 50 sunscreen isn’t chalky and dries into a sheer matte finish. Inactive ingredients found in the sunscreen like almond and sunflower oils also make sure your skin stays moisturised. The sunscreen has also proven to be non-comedogenic, so no need to worry about your pores clogging or forming acne. Before taking a dip this summer, make sure to use Love Sun Body’s SPF 50 as you would any sunscreen and re-apply every 80 minutes. SPF 30 sunscreens filter out up to 97% of the sun’s UV radiation while SPF 50 sunscreens filter out up to 98%.For everyday use, we like to apply a small amount of the sunscreen over our favourite moisturiser or serum. If you want to protect both your skin and the environment, purchase a 100 ml bottle for $21 or a 200ml bottle for $32 on the Love Sun Body website here or on Amazon here.

 

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 .

Eleni & Chris - KeraMin Strengthening Shampoo & Conditioner and BoostaMin Instant Hair Treatment

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Regular readers of The Amazing Blog will know that we're fans of the Scandinavian brand Eleni and Chris. We have recently reviewed their skincare products, the Bio-Cellulose Age Renewal Face and Eye Mask, and had the chance to try their ColourPro Shampoo and Conditioner and ColourPro Leave-In Treatment Spray in 2017.  

So when we had the  opportunity to try latest lauch KeraMin Strengthening Shampoo and Conditioner as well as the BoostaMin Instant Hair Treatment. We grabbed at it with both hands! The shampoo and conditioner both have the brand’s signature ingredient: cloudberries. These small orange berries are native to cool temperate regions of the earth and have been called "Scandinavian gold" as they are high in magnesium, calcium, and vitamins A, B, C, E. These elements, coupled with proteins and moisture, help strengthen and rebuild hair from within. Keratin in the Strengthening Shampoo additionally repairs hair while carefully selected proteins in the Strengthening Conditioner add extra softness. After using this duo, your hair will look stronger and healthier.

Whereas The BoostaMin Instant Hair Treatment should be put in towel-dried hair after shampoo but before conditioner 1-2 times a week for the maximum effect of strong and radiant hair. This product is named rightly so because keratin, cloudberry, and other ingredients combine to create an immediate effect — leaving your hair smoother and shinier than it was minutes before. It works on all hair types and it’s paraben free. On top of that, it comes in individual 20ml packs  ready to throw in your bag and take on your travels. Afterall we all know how sun, sea and sand plays havoc with our crowning-glory!

Whether you need to repair your hair from heat damage or want to maintain your locks, these products are perfect additions to your shower. You can purchase the Shampoo here for €26 and the Conditioner here for €28 or buy both for €50. You can buy single packs of the hair treatment here for €8 or a pack of six for €44. All products are in Euros but they do ship to the UK. Also by the time this post goes live, it might well be included with the rest of the haircare products in £ on FeelUnique.com

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.