Amazing finds

Friday Favourites: Sculpture School Workshops

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Summer is almost over, meaning more than half of the year has flown by; we wonder how you’re doing with your New Year’s resolutions? At The Amazing Blog we are trying to keep on track with a few, one of which included having fun whilst learning a new skills. Before the end of the year, we hope you’ll join us at The Sculpture School for a workshop to tick off that ‘do something new and creative’ resolution from all our lists.

Located in Devon, The Sculpture School, is one of the few establishments in the UK dedicated to teaching contemporary realist sculpture. It’s opened its doors to a new studio and workshops - perfect to help get your creative juices flowing. Tutored by Andrew Sinclair MRBS, the world-class sculptor behind the infamous David Bowie bronze sculpture in Aylesbury. You’ll have the chance to learn professional techniques and methods in order to create your own masterpieces.

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Andrew Sinclair’s portfolio has an impressive range of works of art from commission at the Royal Box at Ascot, Epsom Racecourse and Crosby Hall, to his most recent work a monument for the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment; unveiled in May in Halifax (home of the Regiment for over 300 years). His techniques have taken him around the globe, with Andrew is his colleague and co-founder Diane Coates, whose renowned for her dynamic forms, anatomical detail and sensuous lines; so who better than these two to inspire and teach you how to sculpt? Diane had always focused on painting and pastel arts; however, in 2006, she ventured into the field of sculpting. In particular, she’s recognised for her naked bronze sculptures, and has taken her work internationally with collections across Europe and the Middle East. Together they founded The Sculpture School, with the aim of changing education in sculpture and craftsmanship.

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Whether you are a beginner, experienced, or a professional sculptor they’ll be a workshop tailored for you, plus you’ll even leave the course with a sculpture of your own. These are some of the upcoming dates available:

  •       10-13 September: Level 2 Figurative Sculpture

  •        18 September: Taste of Sculpture

  •        1-4 October: Tutored Sculptor’s Retreat

  •        25-27 October: Moulding and Casting

  •    5-8 November: Level 2 Portrait Sculpture

  •        3-6 December: Level 1 Figurative Sculpture

Price wise, the workshops range from £65 to £645 per person and have a length of one to three days long. The price rates vary according to the duration of the program and the type of workshop. To see the full price list, sign up and learn more, visit The Sculpture School website here and see some of the great testimonials here.

PÉRGATIS – Brows Revitalising Solution

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It’s no secret that eyebrows seem to be a current beauty obsession. At The Amazing Blog, we’re big fans of all eyebrow products, particularly those that will help them grow! Looking at the brow icon Cara Delevingne, it makes us all want to have those thick, perfect and shapely brows. Many brow trends come and go and unfortunately for some of us this has led to over-plucking, which has now caused gaps and thinning. We heard lots of good things about the Pérgatis products, so when received the Pérgatis Brows Revitalising Solution to strengthen and thicken the brows, our reaction was something like what Ariana Grande would say: ‘I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it’.

Over 15 years ago, Dr Amir Jafri who is a medical doctor by training, began to experience hair loss and was introduced to a natural haircare product based in Malaysia. After seeing the unbelievable results, he decided to invest in this brand. Initially launching in the Asian market, the satisfaction rate was high and thus the demand grew so fast, that’s when he decided to take the brand global, hence creating Pérgatis, the personal care group. As a pioneer in the field of hair growth and also with his experience and background in business management, Pérgatis was assured an outstanding start. The name Pérgatis derives from the work Pergamon, an ancient city in Turkey (now known as Bergama). This city was recognised worldwide due to Galen, the man that revolutionised the knowledge of human health, and therefore, the brand wanted to pay homage.

Pérgatis Brows is a 100% natural product that’s rooted in Ayurvedic methodology. The main ingredients are nigella sativa seed oil, black mustard extract, olive oil, sesame seed oil and hydrogenated egg oil; all of which enhances the growth of the brows making them stronger and thicker. Easy to apply by gently massaging 1 or 2 drops of Pérgatis into your brows, then leave the product on until fully absorbed, which is about 4 hours (or it can even be left on overnight). NB when applied at night the liquid is dark amber in colour, so they suggest covering your pillow to avoid staining the bed linen. Pérgatis Brows will help to create voluminsed brows filling in imperfections . Results are normally visible in approximately 6 weeks – we did notice a slight density at 4 weeks but we still need to persevere a little longer to see more of a difference.

You can buy your 10ml dropper bottle of Pérgatis Brows here for £39.00 and make it part of your daily routine, to help achieve those defined and full eyebrows you have always longed for.

Albiva - ECM Advanced Repair Brightening Serum

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Everyone knows that the weather conditions here in the UK are wildly unpredictable. One minute it’s rain, the next sun, and who knows what the following day might be doing - snowing?! All these temperature changes effect our skin with varying degrees of dryness or break-outs. Which prompted our mission at The Amazing Blog to look for a natural skincare to protect and nourish it rain or shine. This is where we’d like to introduce you to Albiva (who we met at the CEW Awards showcase) a new natural skincare where science meets nature, and they kindly sent us their ECM Advanced Repair Brightening Serum to try out.

Ivana Iesini founder of Albiva, was diagnosed with a spinal tumour at the age of 28, where she was having to combine so many conventional medicines, that it started to make her feel worse. During her months of recuperation, she thought about her grandmother, Albina who was a herbalist. She remembered the natural remedies that she was introduced to from an early age, and the power of all these botanicals used to help heal and regenerate the body. Her journey into launching Albiva had begun. The name is a portmanteau combining the name of Ivana’s grandmother and her own. Ivana combined her knowledge of these natural remedies, her studies in biomedical sciences together with embracing an organic way of life, and bingo! From this, Albiva skincare gradually took shape combining her knowledge of science and natural compounds, all collated from sustainable sources. Another thing that sets this brand apart is their use of ‘gemmotherapy’ (an advanced branch of phytotherapy, which isolates the active ingredients from the embryonic tissues of plants). They also remove plain water from their formulations, where Albiva prides itself on replacing the plain water with COSMOS certified organic Raspberry water, this in itself is an active ingredient renowned for firming, lifting and smoothing properties. There are skin-identical and cell communicating ingredients, all designed to stimulate cell regeneration using the skin’s own cell biology. Let’s not forget to mention the ultra-hydrating blend of botanical extracts, powerful antioxidants, collagen supporting ingredients, peptides, ceramides, compound of oligo-elements, phyto-stimulins, nucleid acids, marine algae extracts, essential fatty acids and many more. Now you know why this brand is so very special!

The ECM Advanced Repair Brightening Serum (ECM means extra cellular matrix) combats hyperpigmentation (age spots) and equalises the skin texture providing natural minerals and vitamins that the skin might be lacking. This serum rejuvenates and restores damaged skin by combining an array of natural botanicals: Mallow, Peppermint, Cowslip, Lady’s Mantle, Speedwell, Melissa, and Yarrow together with Swiss Garden Cress extract; all to enhance the complexion protecting it from environmental damage. It is vegan, cruelty-free, dermatologically tested, contains 77% of certified organic ingredients and 92% of natural ingredients. We like that it’s light in texture, absorbs quickly (no oiliness), with the subtlest of fragrance and left our skin feeling hydrated and looking brighter. We used it under our regular moisturiser and SPF primer, and were pleased to note that it complemented these other products. This serum is suitable for all skin types, so whether you are combating age spots or the effects of the erratic UK summer weather, the ECM Advanced Repair Brightening Serum is going to be your perfect ally. This is one brand to keep an eye on, as we’ll predict they’ll being going places…. To get your very own special serum, go to Albiva’s website here 30ml for £195.00.



Victoria Green – Amy 3 in 1 Travel Makeup Wallet

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We find that managing to keep our makeup and toiletries organised in one bag when travelling can be a real nightmare. We will jiggle and juggle and then the bag becomes so bulky that we just can’t fit it in the carry-on! Finding an all-in-one makeup/travel bag that’s both functional and stylish is a real challenge. However, fear not The Amazing Blog found the solution when we saw the ‘Amy 3 in 1 Travel Makeup Wallet’, a versatile trio of waterproof popper wallets that combine to make up one bag, all designed by Victoria Green at the 2019 showcase for CEW Awards .

This smart little makeup wallet has already been featured in the top media outlets such as The Independent, The Sunday Times, the British Beauty Blogger and many more. The award-winning founder of the brand, Victoria Green, found herself as a disorganised woman living a hectic life ­which is not the best combination! In her past life she travelled the world constantly and was always that one person who got stopped by security at the airport, always having her beauty products confiscated. This is when she had a ‘light bulb moment’ realising that she wasn’t the only one that this happened to and that it was a common problem. Hence, Victoria Green’s travel/makeup bags and organisers were born.

Victoria’s Amy 3 in 1 Travel Makeup Wallet is elegant, practical, strong and leak proof; it’s also made from vegan leather, making it easy care and wipe-clean. It is fabulously functional and makes you effortlessly organised, with each compartment coming with a zip and poppers ensuring your beauty items are protected. A big plus is a central section which is transparent and TSA compliant so ideal for your cabin bag. This 3 in 1 design allows you to use each section separately, creating a single, double or triple bag according to space in your luggage. Each compartment is wipeable, fits full-size makeup brushes; it’s 100% phthalate-free with inner packaging composed of 100% recyclable paper. All the Victoria Green bags are also vegan and cruelty-free. We not only love this bag for our toiletries but applaud Victoria Green for being partnered with cancer poverty charity Something To Look Forward To and for their pledge to be PVC-free by 2020. We already have our Amy 3 in 1 Travel Makeup Wallet at only £20.00, to get yours for summer travels ahead, see here.

Mr Vanguard - Eau de Parfum

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As expectations go, the grooming market for us boys was always going to be big, however exploding into the multi-billion dollar industry has thoroughly proved the doubters wrong. My colleagues at The Amazing Blog inform me that within that market, the growth of  male fragrances has been extraordinary - a glance along the shelves in any perfumier exemplifies the range available. The array of bottles and concoctions designed in a myriad of shapes, colours and textures which would not be out of place in an art gallery, scream out for our attention - and of course our hard earned cash.

So, it is something of a breath of freshly scented air that Mr Vanguard arrived in 2017 offering up a discreet, and yet highly individual fragrance to challenge the huge marketing budgets of the larger brands.  Founded by Emmanuel Omoyele he commented that he wanted to “Develop a new generation of fragrance, merging quality, innovation and style.” He was determined to create a debut scent that was distinctive and a brand that fed the psyche of the contemporary man. Thus, proving that success stems from the core certainty of a winning product, rather than the hype of a huge advertising campaign. And the groaning shelf of awards Mr Vanguard has been decorated with is proof positive that these guys have a true winner on their hands, being awarded Best New British Brand, in Pure Beauty Awards 2018.

The fragrance has top notes of bergamot, grapefruit and coconut, along with jasmine, lily of the valley and rose; we’re transported to the tropical climates of The Far East and The Caribbean, finishing with the base notes of amber, vanilla, cedar wood and patchouli. A complex mix, with several layers, but ultimately a fresh and clean scent that will not overpower. The bottle itself is a triumph of self-restraint - clean and clear glass, angular in shape, simple no nonsense masculinity. Currently only available online here and competitively priced at £64.99 for 50ml, this self-assured fragrance is fast garnering a wide and loyal following, with exciting plans to expand distribution and availability.